The oldest art fair of its kind in the world, Art Cologne began in 1967 as an event designed to satisfy the art-collecting appetites of Germans in the Ruhr Valley and the Rhineland who had been enriched by the country’s post-WWII economic miracle. True to its history, the fair remains a rarely local operation in today’s ever-globalizing art world, and it is known for catering to the sophisticated—not to say demanding—tastes of its collectors, many of whom come from families that have been buying art for generations.

This year, to encounter some of these old-growth collectors in their natural habitat, we buttonholed a few fairgoers during Art Cologne’s preview day to see how they approached the festivities, what they were buying (or what they had sold), and to get their opinions on what they would like to see more of in the coming years. Read more