5 tips for attending an art fair

Traveling to an art fair? We make it easy.

Fall is here. That means crisper air, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. For art enthusiasts, this could also involve art fair destination travel. If local museum and restaurant visits are on your horizon, consider the logistics of art acquisition as well. What do we mean? Below, find tips for strategic planning in advance, preparing you for the thrill of the art chase.

1. Know your fair and destination.

This fall offers many options for art travel. Some to consider:

In October, head to:

  • London
    • Frieze and Frieze Masters
  • Paris
    • Paris+ par Art Basel, Paris Internationale

In November, make your way to:

In December, discover:

  • Miami
    • Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami, NADA, Scope, Volta, Miami Art, Ink etc.


2. Measure your space.

Interested in an art piece for your home office or a niche in your living room? Measure the space in advance in both American and metric units. Don’t forget the height of your ceiling in case you find a work of sculpture to suspend.

Expansive walls and high ceilings are conducive to creative curating. Yet standard doorframes can hinder the entrance of a large sculpture or framed artwork into a home or apartment. If you are thinking large-format for your next acquisition, consider the dimension of doors and windows to see what widths and heights they can handle.


3. Add fine art packers and shippers to your contacts.

Having the contact information for a specialist fine art packer and shipper in advance of attending an art fair is always a good strategy. Especially when shipping art internationally, a specialized art shipper will be able to fill out appropriate customs forms and handle international paperwork, taxes and fees.

Some international art shippers will have staff at the major art fairs, or have relationships with local experts. This was the case at the Art Basel Fair in Switzerland this past June, when I was able to get a quote for an art shipment from Basel to Dallas for a Berkley One client within 24 hours from the Crozier staff person at the fair.


4. Bank on a successful transaction.

While most younger galleries and dealers accept Venmo and credit cards for payments, larger galleries and larger transactions usually require wire transfers for art purchases. International wire transfers can require a few days as banks may take extra security precautions to help prevent fraud and protect consumers.

You may also speak with your bank about best practices for such a transfer in advance.


5. Know your coverage.

Does your insurance policy provide global coverage and transportation? How about coverage for newly-acquired items? An art insurance policy generally provides world-wide coverage for many perils including fire and flood, and can provide coverage during transit.

At Berkley One, our Collectible SuiteTM policy provides coverages for modern exposures faced by today’s art enthusiasts, such as commissioned works of art, objects undergoing conservation and trusts and estates.

As an art enthusiast, the joy of traveling as well as seeing artwork on offer from global artists and gallerists is often emotionally and visually invigorating. An advance plan and an art insurance policy will help you focus on your passion, with a good feeling that logistics are well planned as well.


Katja Zigerlig is Vice President of Art, Wine + Collectibles Advisory at Berkley One (a Berkley Company).