MDNY 2019 Wrap-Up Press Release


February 12, 2019


The Thrill of Discovery at Master Drawings New York

Saturday, January 26 through Saturday, February 2, 2019

Enthusiasm and Engagement mark 13th annual event with Outstanding Sales, Vigorous Interest and Sold-Out Lecture Programs

February 13, 2019, New York, NY: Legions of art collectors, institutions, curators and dealers, took over Manhattan’s Upper East Side to participate in the 2019 edition of Master Drawings New York. Thirty of the world’s leading international art dealers exhibited an outstanding array of drawings, paintings, watercolors, sculpture and oil sketches from the 14th to the 21st centuries from Saturday, January 26th through Saturday, February 2nd.

Originally conceived as an annual gallery-walk, Master Drawings New York has grown into a dynamic, ‘must see’ event, receiving strong support as its range and influence has grown each year. Each exhibition was hosted by specialist dealers of master works in drawing, painting and sculpture and many of the artworks offered were newly discovered or had not been seen on the market in decades, if at all.

Having spent months gathering rarities for the January 2019 edition, the participating exhibitors unveiled new surprises to a keen and scholarly group of collectors and institutions. Sales overall were robust and museum buying in particular was extremely active with several pieces going to high-profile institutions. Highly coveted works were snapped up in the opening hours of the event and steady business was sustained throughout the week.

Last year, MDNY expanded its purview to include paintings and sculpture which offer collectors, curators and art lovers a spectacular range of works presented by a broader range of specialist dealers. This was further strengthened in quality with the addition of new painting and sculpture dealers this year including Stuart Lochhead Sculpture (London), Benjamin Proust Fine Art (London), Galerie J. Kugel (Paris) and Michael Werner Gallery (New York).

“2019 was one of the most successful years for Master Drawings New York for exhibitor sales, attendance at events, and enthusiasm and engagement from all the key cultural and commercial stakeholders in New York," comments Crispian Riley-Smith, co-founding Director. “We look forward to building on this for 2020.”

Museum attendance at this year’s Master Drawings New York was especially vigorous. Curators and museum professionals visited from J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Morgan Library and Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, The Courtauld Gallery, London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.

Participating exhibitors echoed this refrain. “I’ve have been absolutely astonished by the amount of interest and activity from the American museums and institutions. MDNY has a unique atmosphere of great scholarship and connoisseurship that is hard to find on the European continent,” comments Thomas Deprez, a new Master Drawings exhibitor from Belgium.


Notable sales at Master Drawings New York included:

Tomasso Brothers, UK; Aubert-Henri-Joseph Parent (1753-1835) Switzerland, 1794; The Wettin Still-Life: Carved panel relief still life with a bird and a vase containing roses,lilacs, daisies and ranunculi, resting on a ledge bearing the arms of the House of Wettin;  Limewood. 27.5 cm (10 3⁄4 in.) high, excluding frame; SIGNED AND DATED. ‘A.T PARENT. F. 1794.’ (lower edge)
Christopher Bishop of Christopher Bishop Fine Art, commented “We are pleased to have sold an important German drawing (above) attributed to Cosmas Damian Asam (German 1686- 1739), Design for a Ceiling with Stories from the Life of the Magdalen, c. 1730 (396 x 296 mm), which it is going back to Germany where it is certain to be the subject of continued scholarship and study. The drawing, in red chalk, watercolor, grey and blue gouache highlighted in white, was intended for the ceiling of a German Baroque Church and has four scenes from the life and story of Mary Magdalen. There are 80 figures in total in the drawing, some subtle hints of color, and the sheer size of the drawing is very unique to this period.

By closing day, the London-based dealer Stephen Ongpin of Stephen Ongpin Fine Art reported a successful week selling Paul-Cesar Helleu’s (1859-1927) A Young Woman Seated at a Table in the region of $80,000, Helen Frankenthaler’s (1928-2011) Untitled in the region of $130,000, Piet Mondrian’s (1872-1944) Three Flower Blossoms, One a Chrysanthemum in the region of $300,000 and Lorenzo Lippi’s (1606-1664) Study of a Seate Nude Girl in the region of $48,000.  

Partnership Events for MDNY 2019:

A full-roster of Partnership Events were fully-subscribed and standing-room only, attracting attendees from around the world. Highlights of the week included a Metropolitan Museum of Art Curatorial Lecture on British Drawings (sponsored by CHRISTIE’S), a Special Loan Exhibition from Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (sponsored by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art), and the Third Annual Master Drawings Journal Symposium (sponsored by the Tavolozza Foundation). Free tours were also given throughout the week and were led in partnership with Drawing New York - a NY-based group of drawing enthusiasts and practitioners.

One of the major partnerships for 2019 was a special loan exhibition of drawings from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, on display in the spectacular Vanderbilt mansion owned by Carlton Hobbs gallery at 60 East 93rd Street. The exhibition, entitled FIGURE/STUDY: Drawings from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, included 25 drawings spanning from the 14th - 21st century. Many of the drawings included in the loan exhibition were acquired from past and present MDNY participating dealers. The drawings on view revealed the show’s theme of the enduring relevance of the figural study in drawing and included works by Abraham Bloemaert, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Pablo Picasso.

“We at Cornell University's Johnson Museum were thrilled to augment a very successful Master Drawings New York 2019 week through our special loan exhibition, FIGURE/STUDY, and share highlights of our collection with new audiences,” said Andrew C. Weislogel, the Seymour R. Askin, Jr. '47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art. "The experience truly served as a nexus for scholarly discussion about the collecting of drawings in academic museums and beyond, and we’re grateful to the MDNY leadership team for this opportunity, to our guest lecturer Dr. Elizabeth Nogrady, and to Tomasso Brothers Fine Art for sponsoring and Carlton Hobbs LLC for hosting us.”

A highlight from this exhibition was the beautiful and iconic work by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, British, 1828–1882,  Drawing for The Blue Bower, 1865 Pencil; 19 1/4 × 13 inches (48.9 × 33 cm), left. It is a promised gift of Virginia M. Lindseth, Cornell Class of 1956, and Jon Lindseth, Cornell Class of 1956, to the collection of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art


# # #


About Master Drawings New York

Masters Drawings New York, the preeminent event for drawings on the calendar of art lovers, began as a casual gallery walk during the Old Masters auctions and The Winter Antiques Show in New York. Since its co-founding in 2006 by Margot Gordon, an Old Masters specialist based in the city, and Crispian Riley-Smith of London, the week has grown into a highly anticipated occasion.


General Information

Master Drawings New York 2020 will take place provisionally 25 January - 1 February 2020, preview 24 January.


Press Contacts

Magda Grigorian, [email protected] +1 212 829 0002

Frankie Petts, [email protected] +1 212 829 0002


Master Drawing New York Contact:

Allison Wucher, Director, [email protected], +1 650 743 2334