Sanford L Smith

Sanford L Smith was described as 'the master showman'.

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During his long and varied career, Smith, who was 84, ran more than 150 fairs, and his company Sanford L Smith + Associates (SLSA), currently runs The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, The Art Dealers Association of America Art Show and Salon Art + Design.

The company has been left to wife and partner Jill Bokor, chief executive officer Jennifer Stark, and managing director and executive director of Salon Art + Design Nicky Dessources.

SLSA launched the Fall Antiques Show in 1979. It was the first event in the world to focus exclusively on American antiques. Its launch at the Seventh Regiment Armory (now the Park Avenue Armory) gave Studio 54 a run for its money. It attracted long queues down the street, inspiring a New Yorker magazine cover showing people waiting to get into the show.

Smith once said: “My one claim to fame is that I saw openings and created shows that hadn’t been done before.” His shows often attracted around 10,000 visitors over a weekend.

Future events

SLSA is currently planning the 13th edition of Salon Art + Design, which takes place this November 7-11 and the 65th Annual ABAA NYIABF taking place from April 3-6, 2025 at Park Avenue Armory.

“Sandy was the master showman, and nothing delighted him more than finding a niche in the art and design world and filling it with an unexpected new event,” says Bokor. “Many attendees of the fairs will remember Sandy sitting at the front of the fair watching the people come in. It thrilled him.”