He created the first All American Antiques Show at the Pier in 1980, when both the idea of an entirely American fair and any fair held at such a remote venue were nearly unthinkable. His second show, Modernism, was seminal; at that time, no other show had presented design material from 1860–1960 as a collecting category.
The fair enjoyed a successful run for over 25 years and spawned many number of shows exhibiting material from that period, but Modernism was undisputably the first. Works on Paper followed, presenting a wide variety of watercolors, photographs, prints, drawings and pastels from Old Master to Contemporary. Again, Smith was the pioneer in the field which also generated more shows and even a magazine on the subject.
His most recent venture, The Salon: Art + Design, a collaboration with Europe’s prestigious Syndicat National des Antiquaires, was hailed by the New York Times as “a museum in the making at the Park Avenue Armory.” The Salon premiered in November, 2012 and is entering it’s fourth consecutive year at the Armory in November of 2015.
In addition to the shows that he has created and owned, Sanford Smith has long managed prestigious association fairs. Over the years he has managed The Philadelphia Antiques Show, The Chicago Art & Antiques Show and the original AIPAD Show among others. Today he still manages The Art Dealers of America’s Art Fair, The International Fine Print Fair, relationships that have been fostered for over 25 years.
From April 9-12, 2015, book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera.
For over twenty-five years, Sanford Smith shows have been held in the Park Avenue Armory. Sixty-sixth Street and Park Avenue is the crossroads of luxury boutiques, hotels, museums, and the heart of the country’s most expensive zip code, 10065.
THE SALON: ART + DESIGN will feature 53 leading international dealers exhibiting the finest modern art and design from 1890 to the present, along with important works of ethnographic art. The roots of modern design are also represented by dealers of earlier material. Half of the dealers are members of the prestigious Syndicat National des Antiquaires, many of whom will be exhibiting in New York for the first time.