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Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair

Event preview

THIS year, the events programme at the 41st Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, held from June 6 to June 16, 2013, has some real gems, which should attract many visitors to the Fair.

The free talks and tours add to making Olympia a great destination for all those who love art and antiques and would like to find out more about the stories behind the objects.

Guy Oliver, well known for his interior design work at Claridge’s over the years, will talk about his latest project – restoring The Connaught Hotel. Since leading the London landmark’s £75 million refurbishment, Oliver will recount the challenges he faced in designing this iconic London hotel around its pre-existing art and antique collection without making the hotel feel like a museum.

By integrating contemporary, original artworks and selectively purchasing antiques to supplement his distinct scheme, Oliver managed to preserve The Connaught’s historical identity yet create an atmosphere which resonates with today’s modern traveller. (Wednesday, June 12 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm).

If you are interested in The Art of Fine Dining, then you will be able to attend a talk by Sotheby’s Institute lecturer Jane Gardiner on Friday, June 14 (2.30pm to 3.30 pm). She will give an introduction to elegant eating from the late Middle Ages to the early Nineteenth Century, through an examination of silver, glass and porcelain; as illustrated in paintings and engravings and as described in contemporary literature.

Another lunchtime lecture focuses on design by curator and writer Zoe Whitley, who will provide an international overview of styles and movements in Modern Design and Decorative Arts (1920-1980), looking at excellence and eccentricity, archetypes and accidents, inspiration and innovation spanning 50 years of 20th century design.

Drawing examples from furniture, graphics, fashion and beyond, collectors will be introduced to design classics as well as names to know: from Anglepoise to Zaha. (Friday, June 14 from 1pm to 2pm).

Adriana Turpin, Academic Director of IESA, will talk about French design and its influence in England 1600-1900, in particular about the complex relationship the English have with French art, both admiring and disliking it. In exploring the long tradition of British design, this talk analyses the impact of this influence and shows how, over three hundred years, British designers followed, adapted or rejected it. (Thursday, June 13 from 2.30pm to 3.30pm).

Independent art consultant, Vanessa Curry, will lead a series of bespoke tours, personally researched at the fair, which will take place daily from Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 16 (2pm to 3pm) and will look at buying art and antiques in the current market; the attraction of well made things and the beautiful world of jewellery among others.

For a full list of events, visit

Late night art shopping for first-timers

On Thursday, June 13, the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair is opening its doors to late night shoppers, when there will be free advice available to first time buyers and personal shopper help at hand to navigate the 180 stands. Open until 9pm, all visitors arriving after 6pm will be offered a glass of wine and live Jazz will fill west London’s famous 19th century, glass-domed halls.

The Fair, now in its 41st year, offers pieces from £100 to £1million and features works such as Miro prints, Picasso ceramics, a pair of imperial dragon roundels from the Yongchen dynasty or some 19th century faux onyx covered chairs. Also on sale is: glass, jewellery, paintings (contemporary back to 16th century), furniture (all ages), textiles, lighting, mirrors, tribal art and kitchenalia.

Previous fair attendees have included Oprah Winfrey, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Redmayne, Jemima Khan, Mick Jagger and interior designer Nina Campbell.

Olympia Exhibition Centre, Olympia Way, London, W14 8UX