Interview with Madelon Strijbos, marketing and PR manager of PAN Amsterdam

By Anna Savitskaya - Thursday, October 9, 2014
Interview with Madelon Strijbos, marketing and PR manager of PAN Amsterdam

PAN Amsterdam, running from 23 - 30 November this year, will hold the twenty-eighth edition of its Fair.

Interview with Madelon Strijbos, marketing and PR manager of PAN Amsterdam

PAN Amsterdam, running from 23 - 30 November this year, will hold the twenty-eighth edition of its Fair. Together with TEFAF, the fairs represent events at the highest level and focus on the most sophisticated audience. On show will be paintings of contemporary and old masters, photography, sculpture, design objects, furniture, silver, maps and books, oriental and folk art, porcelain and ceramics, carpets, clocks and barometers, icons, jewelry and much more. In an interview with Artdependence Magazine, Madelon Strijbos, marketing and PR manager of PAN Amsterdam explains how it is possible for a fair to survive for almost 30 years, what role PAN Amsterdam plays in the Dutch art scene and what is most important about a fair.

AD: This year’s PAN Amsterdam, which runs from 23 to 30 November 2014, is the twenty-eighth edition of the Fair—proof of its ongoing success. What is it that makes your Fair so special and enduring? What is the secret of attracting so many visitors (more than forty-five thousand last year)?

MS: At PAN Amsterdam our dealers focus on quality. The result is an offering of superb quality objects at prices ranging from approximately €500 to €500,000, spanning more than 5,000 years of art history. The Fair’s success lies in the unique opportunity it provides for art lovers to draw inspiration from the objects, meet expert dealers and make exciting discoveries. At the same time they can be assured of the quality, authenticity and condition of the objects, which are vetted by a committee of over seventy experts prior to the Fair. PAN provides a serious platform that allows visitors to meet more than 120 art dealers and gallery owners in one day in a bright, elegant atmosphere. Over the past twenty-eight years, the dealers at PAN Amsterdam have committed themselves to giving visitors the very best in terms of the objects they offer and—very importantly—when it comes to giving advice and sharing their expertise. It is this commitment on the part of the exhibitors that is the foundation of the Fair and has allowed us to build a solidly established event.

AD: Is PAN Amsterdam becoming more international over time? Do you get many requests from foreign galleries to show at your Fair?

MS: PAN’s mission is to represent the Dutch art market. Foreign galleries are obviously part of this as we are not a country in isolation. Most of the dealers are Dutch, however. Each year we receive several requests from foreign galleries. Whether we can grant them a stand at the fair depends on the quality of the objects they intend to bring and whether there is enough space to accommodate them.

AD: PAN Amsterdam is known for its loyalty to long-time exhibitors. What are the chances of new galleries getting accepted for PAN Amsterdam?

MS: This is the same for international and national applicants. We can grant them a stand at the fair depending on the quality of the objects they intend to bring and whether there is enough space to accommodate them.

AD: How do you evaluate the present art situation in the Netherlands?

MS: Last year we noticed a slight upturn in the market. On the final day of last year’s Fair sixty-five percent of the dealers said that sales had been better than the year before, twenty-five percent said sales had been steady and only ten percent let us know that sales had been lower. As the overall economic situation has stabilised and improved, we hope this trend will continue. It is essentially impossible to evaluate the situation of the art market in Holland this year prior to PAN. 

AD: Do you have strong competition worldwide? 

MS: There is definitely a lot going on in today's art market. It is very interesting to see how fairs in other European countries operate. We might be inspired by what we see—equally they might be inspired by looking at us. Competition often drives a market forward. PAN holds a unique position in the Dutch art market and we aim to keep this solid leading position by staying true to our values and keeping abreast of what both collectors and our exhibitors need.

AD: Fairs are becoming increasingly dominant players in the art market these days. To maintain a presence on the art scene and gain maximum exposure, galleries have no other choice but to take part in at least three or four fairs a year. How do you see the role of fairs in the future? 

MS: Art fairs provide a vital physical meeting point for dealers, gallery owners, collectors and academics. The future success of an art fair all comes down to how well it connects people. Art fairs need to be inspiring as well as efficient. PAN Amsterdam has done this in the past and will surely continue to do both.

Here are some highlights of PAN Amsterdam 2014 selected by Artdependence Magazine:

Pablo Picasso, Tête d'homme, de profil a gauche, courtesy Dr.Lennart Booij, Rare items and fine Art and PAN Amsterdam


Kinderportret met mandje kersen, Jan Claesz, courtesy Floris van Wanroij Fine Art and PAN Amsterdam


Dancing people, Pavel Pepperstein, courtesy NUNC Contemporary and PAN Amsterdam 


Fonctionnaire à Hélice, Stéphane Halleux, courtesy Absolut Art Gallery and PAN Amsterdam

 Mummiemasker, Kunsthandel Mieke Zilverberg and PAN Amsterdam

Icon, Eitempera on levkas on wood, Russia, Palech, courtesy of Tóth-Ikonen and PAN Amsterdam

Anna is a graduate of Moscow’s Photo Academy, with a previous background in intellectual property rights. In 2012 she founded the company Perspectiva Art, dealing in art consultancy, curatorship, and the coordination of exhibitions. During the bilateral year between Russia and The Netherlands in 2013, Perspectiva Art organized a tour for a Dutch artist across Russia, as well as putting together several exhibitions in the Netherlands, curated by Anna. Since October 2014, Anna has taken an active role in the development and management of ArtDependence Magazine. Anna interviews curators and artists, in addition to reviewing books and events, and collaborating with museums and art fairs.

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ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

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