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It was only a matter of time before they embraced one of the more
buoyant areas of the international market, 20th century and Modernist work, and in 1999 they launched the International 20th Century Arts Fair.

With the new millennium, it needed a new name so it is now The International Art and Design Fair: 1900-2003 and will be staged at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, from September 25 to 30.

The fair brings together 37 dealers from France, Italy, England, Sweden, Canada and the United States, and covers everything from tribal art through fine furniture to cutting-edge contemporary ceramics. With items dating from as recent as this year, vetting is a difficult job but the fair is strictly vetted for authenticity and quality.

Brian Haughton declares: “This is one of the most expanding markets of the future and we are delighted to be part of setting standards in this area.”

This is indeed one of the most exciting areas of the market, and one which the Americans know well, so it was the most difficult fair for the Haughtons to establish in New York.

It still is possibly the most problematic of their Manhattan ventures since design and style are a far more subjective area of appreciation than the other Haughton specialities, all of which have more established academic bases.

But the fair has evolved a stylish, dramatic look, and even if not all the top names in the field are manning stands enough of them are to make this a world-class event.

Such top dealers as Maison Gerard, Karl Kemp, Martin du Louvre and Jacques de Vos exhibit and there is a strong English contingent among which are Whitford Fine Art, Two Zero C Applied Art, The Silver Fund, Adrian Sassoon, Graham Gallery and Michael Goedhuis.

Significantly, two of those English firms, Silver Fund and Goedhuis, have a permanent presence in New York.

Art Deco will, of course, be strong, and this year photography also seems especially well catered for – but not at the expense of a whole gamut of other media featuring all the big names of this innovative field.

The opening night preview party on September 24 supports New York’s Museum of Modern Art, who also stage a mouth-watering loan exhibition which itself seems worth the $16 admission.