Veteran show organizer David Lester estimated that sales soared to between $10 million and $20 million at his inaugural Naples International Art & Antiques Show. About 80% of visitors to the new 4-day show were locals from the southwest Florida city of Naples, but Lester told Naplesnews.com that he anticipates the annual fair will eventually attract international collectors as well.
Among the heavy-hitting sales were a Norman Rockwell painting which sold for $2.7 million and an 1889 Jean-Leon Gerome painting that went for $1.4 million, both from New Orleans-based M.S. Rau Antiques.
David and Lee Ann Lester have planned a contemporary art show, Art Naples, at the same location, their newly retrofitted Naples International Pavilion, from March 18-21.
The couple's company, International Fine Art Expositions, also manages prominent shows in Miami, Palm Beach and London, as well as the traveling SeaFair.