A major new summer event aimed at attracting members of the public through the doors of Mayfair and St James’s galleries will launch on July 5 and 6.
Brown's London Art Weekend will see 80 galleries
open their doors and give talks in a bid to show the variety and
diversity that their businesses contribute to the local area.
The initiative, sponsored by Brown's, has emerged from the
convocation of around 30 dealers who have been gathering each week
this year at the Albemarle Street hotel to discuss the rent rise
and development crisis that has blighted the area over the past
couple of years.
They have already been taking it in turns to run Brown's
Saturday Art Tours, where individual dealers have led small parties
of paying clients on visits to hand-picked galleries in the area to
see what's on offer, followed by lunch at Hix, the restaurant at
John Martin, whose own Albemarle Street gallery is affected by
the changes, said: "It's all about raising public awareness about
what an incredibly useful contribution the galleries make to the
local culture and economy."
He is one of a number of dealers including Johnny Messum at the
heart of the initiative and had nothing but praise for all the
other local businesses that had lent their support, among them
London Art Week, Sotheby's and even Rathbone's, the wealth
The dealers are hoping to capitalise on what Mr Martin called
the "amazing vision" of developing Special Policy Areas in
recognition of the unique character of places such as Mayfair,
where art galleries and auction houses cluster to create a local
"Raising public awareness by getting them through the door is
the first step to turning them into collectors," he said.
"What Westminster have been doing could well be a blueprint for
other local authorities in helping art and antiques come alive
again. This idea has come together over the past three weeks and
has galvanised everyone in the area."
• ATG will welcome Councillor Robert Davis, deputy leader of
Westminster Council, at the Olympia fair at 12 noon on June 10 to
talk about the SPA initiative and to take questions on the subject
from the audience.
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