Art Dealers Association of America’s President Dorsey Waxter introduces this exceptional organization

by leslierankowfinearts

Dorsey Waxter President, ADAA

Dorsey Waxter
President, ADAA

IN JANUARY 2013, THE ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA ANNOUNCED ITS NEW OFFICERS AND BOARD DIRECTOR. DORSEY WAXTER, A DISTINGUISHED GALLERY OWNER AND SEASONED SECONDARY MARKET DEALER WAS APPOINTED PRESIDENT, MUCH TO EVERYONE IN THE ART WORLD’S DELIGHT. DORSEY’S STRAIGHT FORWARD MANNER, EXTRAORDINARY KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN THE AREAS OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART AS WELL AS  HER PRACTICAL WISDOM AND SOUND JUDGMENT ARE ALL ATTRIBUTES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE REPUTATION OF HER GALLERY, A JOINT PARTNERSHIP WITH JOHN VAN DOREN,  VAN DOREN WAXTER, http://www.vandorenwaxter.com/ AND HER LEADERSHIP OF THE ADAA. http://www.artdealers.org/

THE ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, ESTABLISHED IN 1962, CELEBRATES ITS 51st ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR. IT GATHERS OVER 175 ART DEALERS AMONG THE MOST PROMINENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND PROMOTES ETHICAL VALUES AND EXPERTISE WITHIN THE PROFESSION. THE ADAA IS DEDICATED TO INCREASING PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE RESPONSIBILITY AND CONTRIBUTION THAT ART DEALERS MAKE IN THE ART WORLD AND IS CELEBRATED FOR ITS STELLAR ANNUAL EVENT, THE ART SHOW, AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY IN NEW YORK.

THIS YEAR, THE ART SHOW PREVIEWS ON TUESDAY MARCH 4, 2014, AND RUNS FROM MARCH 5 – MARCH 9, AT THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY AT 68th STREET.   MEMBER GALLERIES AT THE 28th ANNUAL ART SHOW, ORGANIZED BY THE ADAA TO BENEFIT THE HENRY STREET SETTLEMENT, WILL FEATURE  SOLO, TWO PERSON AND THEMATIC EXHIBITIONS BY SEVENTY-TWO OF OUR AMERICAN LEADING ART DEALERS.  WHILE THE RANGE OF WORK IS DIVERSE, THE QUALITY IS ALWAYS IMPECCABLY SOLID. http://www.artdealers.org/artshow.html

IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ART SHOW, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO SPEAK  WITH  DORSEY WAXTER, PRESIDENT OF THE ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION, ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION, ITS HISTORY AND ITS GOALS.

DORSEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND CONTRIBUTION. PLEASE TELL US THE HISTORY OF THE ADAA, WHEN IT WAS FOUNDED AND WHAT WERE ITS INITIAL GUIDING PRINCIPLES?

The ADAA was founded in 1962 by Ralph Colin of the law firm Rosenman Colin who convinced the top dealers of the time including Eugene Thaw, Klaus Perls, Alexandre Rosenberg, Pierre Matisse along with André Emmerich and Leo Castelli to form an association to promote and make known the importance of dealers.  According to Gil Edelson who was Administrative Vice President and counsel to the ADAA from its inception until last year, dealers who visited museums to show their offerings were routinely shown through the side door.  It was time to show the world that there were dealers who were reliable and knowledgeable and who could be trusted for their connoisseurship.

There were two compelling reasons to form the association.  The first objective was to attack the problem of fakes and forgeries; the second was to promote a systematic approach to appraisals.  There had been a show of Walter Chrysler’s collection in Provincetown, MA in which half the show was masterpieces and the other half fakes.  John Canaday, chief critic of the New York Times, wrote a glowing review of the show.  Dealers who knew the collection were horrified and so the ADAA wrote a press release about the fact that there were works that were not authentic.  That brought a public apology from Mr. Canaday and new rigor to the reputation of the Association.

The other concern was about the vague nature of appraisals for gift tax purposes.  By assembling a department within the ADAA, requests for appraisals could be fulfilled by using the knowledge and experience of the member galleries to provide several opinions based on actual sales.  The idea was to eliminate guesswork and provide hard evidence that would stand up to scrutiny by the IRS.

HOW ARE THE GALLERIES SELECTED TO BECOME  ADAA MEMBERS AND WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS AND REQUISITES?

Potential members must be nominated from within the existing membership.  To begin with, a gallery must be in business for a minimum of 5 years and a private gallery for 8 years.  We have Standards and Practices as well as By-Laws that each new member must become familiar with.  Additionally applicants must demonstrate a history of exhibitions and programming that substantiates their reputation for being an expert in their field.  Along with an exhibition program, a dealer must have scholarly publications that they have produced in their field.  The artists that a dealer exhibits must have works in a museum collection and/or in significant private collections as a demonstration of relevance and importance to the history of art.

IN OUR NEXT BLOG, WE WILL EXPLORE THE DIVERSE RANGE OF HISTORICAL PERIODS AND  COMPREHENSIVE TECHNICAL APPROACHES THAT CHARACTERIZE THE WORKS EXHIBITED BY ADAA MEMBERS.  WE WELCOME ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS.  DORSEY’S VAST INFORMATION ABOUT THE ADAA AND THE ART WORLD IS A WELLSPRING OF INFORMATION TO TAP.

PLEASE,  ASK AWAY!