March 28, 2023

Christopher Bishop Fine Art announces the purchase of Master Drawings New York (MDNY), the premiere art fair for exhibiting exceptional works on paper, established in 2006. The annual fair, presented in more than two dozen galleries on the Upper East Side during the month of January, draws an international audience of art collectors, curators, scholars, students, artists, gallerists, and museum visitors. A former advisory board member and Old Masters expert, Christopher Bishop will step into the leadership role of President of Master Drawings New York on March 20. Cydney W. Williams (Associate Director, Christopher Bishop Fine Art) is being named Director of Master Drawings New York.

As a participant in Master Drawings for 10 years, Christopher Bishop Fine Art underscores a commitment to the founding mission of the fair, which is to provide a central space in New York for the sale, study, and appreciation of works on paper from all periods. Bishop's Madison Avenue gallery specializes in drawings and paintings from the 15th through early 20th centuries. With more than 20 years of experience in Old Master drawings and an increasing presence in modern and contemporary works on paper, Bishop will leverage his position in New York to infuse the fair with new vitality.

"Master Drawings serves as a platform for an unmatched gathering of the minds. The fair uniquely provides an opportunity for discovery and the passing on of intergenerational knowledge," said Bishop. "We will build upon this legacy-fostering the strengths of the show while taking it to the next level in the years to come."


Founded 17 years ago by London-based art dealers Crispian Riley-Smith and Margot Gordon, Master Drawings New York has a history of highlighting the integral role of drawings in the creative process. In addition to showcasing galleries on or near Madison Avenue, the event traditionally includes associated programming at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt, and The Frick Collection.

"I am delighted Christopher Bishop has procured Master Drawings New York and am confident that he will look after our community in New York and beyond. While the fair began as an exhibition of Old Master and early modern drawings, the event has grown to include paintings and sculpture celebrating the works of master artists," said Riley-Smith. "Since its founding 17 years ago, I have been running Master drawings from the UK-with the support of a great New York-based advisory team-it has been one of the highlights of my professional life. Now it is time for this marquee New York event to benefit from New York-based leadership. Chris is the best person to step up, and I will fully support him through the imminent transition. The Master Drawings exhibitors, collaborating partners, and participants are in excellent hands."

 "I extend my gratitude to Crispian Riley-Smith for his stewardship of this institution, and I am honored to be chosen as the best candidate to help carry Master Drawings New York forward. Art dealing is a career, certainly, but also a vocation. We believe strongly in passing on what one has received through kindness from patrons, mentors, colleagues, and friends. As we all know, in this business an arts education continues until our final day and that, truly, is the fundamental pleasure of the field," noted Bishop.



An advisory board comprised of former and new board members has been assembled to support CBFA in fulfilling the Master Drawings New York mission. The executive committee of the new advisory board will include Stephen Ongpin (Stephen Ongpin Fine Art), Cliff Schorer (Agnews Works on Paper), Jill Newhouse (Jill Newhouse Gallery), and Alan Salz (Didier Aaron).



Christopher Bishop Fine Art is equally proud to announce a new partnership between MDNY and The Drawing Foundation, a New York based not-for-profit organization founded by Allison Wucher, Owner, Silverpoint Fine Art, and Simon Levenson, Founder, Drawing America, that is due to launch this summer. The Drawing Foundation is dedicated to hosting and promoting drawings-related events, scholarship, and study and will have a key role in helping to develop and foster the institutional partnership events traditionally associated with Master Drawings New York.

"We are excited and honored to be working with Master Drawings New York under its new ownership. The week of Master Drawings New York has always represented an important opportunity for our community of dealers, curators, scholars, collectors and enthusiasts to come together and celebrate drawings. We look forward to orchestrating the institutional partnerships and events that contribute to an exciting and vibrant fair," Allison Wucher, co-founder of The Drawing Foundation.

Christopher Bishop Fine Art has pledged one third of the gross revenue of Master Drawings New York to The Drawing Foundation on an ongoing annual basis for a minimum of five years.

"This new corporate and affiliated non-profit structure will help to insure the stability and longevity of these institutions. It is our hope that in the future we may have the honor of passing on this institution to a new generation as well. At this time, it is appropriate to look backwards in gratitude, but also forward with a knowledge that together we can preserve the legacy for the future and build on this foundation for the next generation," Bishop said.

"Museums, dealers, collectors, and historians alike are all equally invested in making sure the joy of the study of drawings is passed on to new generations, so it can grow to new heights," Bishop added. "This can only be done by knitting the community together ever more strongly and reaching out to bring new audiences to the fair."




Press Contacts:

Nicole Straus Public Relations

Nicole Straus, (631) 369-2188, (917) 744-1040, [email protected]

Kristin Guiter, (917) 635-1805, [email protected]


Photo credit: Marcin Muchalski, Diamond Shot Studio