Founded in New York in 1993, the Outsider Art Fair is the original art fair concentrating specifically on self-taught art and presenting works by acknowledged masters and such living artists as George Widener, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Shinichi Sawada, Christine Sefolosha and Luboš Plný. Soon recognized for its maverick spirit, OAF played a vital role in nurturing a passionate collecting community and broader recognition for outsider art in the contemporary art arena.
In 2012, Wide Open Arts, a company founded by gallerist Andrew Edlin, acquired the fair. In January 2013, in its first edition under new ownership, OAF enjoyed rave reviews and more than tripled previous attendance records. Propelled by this success, Wide Open Arts took the fair to Paris for the first time in October 2013, helping to reinvigorate that city’s long tradition in the art brut field. After holding the fair for the first two years at Hôtel Le A, a boutique hotel near the Grand Palais, OAF Paris relocated in 2015 to Hôtel du Duc, a stately, nineteenth-century hôtel particulier in the Opéra district. In 2018, the fair expanded to its current venue, Atelier Richelieu, located in the 2nd arrondissement.