Kicking off the organization’s 25th anniversary, Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director of the West Harlem Art Fund and her organization presented a panel discussion–New Narratives in Museum Collectionsfor Master Drawings New York at the Academy of Arts and Letters on January 22nd.
According to Bailey-McClain, “This is our 4th year participating with Master Drawings New York. We have broadened the definition of what masterful art looks like and the artists who create such works. I am delighted to keep these conversations going so we can gain new collectors”.
A museum’s life is renewed through the exchange of fresh perspectives from cultures and traditions around the world. Diversity can be achieved through museum staff who are capable of communicating these stories to a broad audience.
Currently, there is a movement to purchase these artworks and show them all over the country. In contrast to museums, art dealers are often able to take risks. This can lead to the discovery of hidden treasures or new talent. There are many relationships that dealers use to achieve the goal of encouraging museums and collectors to buy works that are not commonly seen by the public.
Sanjay Kapoor is Director of Kapoor Galleries. The family business was founded in 1975 and Sanjay is the fourth generation to oversee the collection. Kapoor Galleries’ seminal bronzes, sculptures, and thanks have been collected and showcased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Norton Simon Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, San Diego Museum of Art, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts among others.
Sanjay remains committed to scholarship, accuracy, and excellence in subcontinental Indian and Himalayan art. Distinguishing himself as a dealer with an unparalleled attention to detail and sense of service, he is Co-President of The Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) and Marketing and Promotions Committee Chair at the International Society of Appraisers. At just 32 years old, he is the youngest committee board member in the AADLA’s 91-year history, the oldest art organization in the United States. He is also a supporter of the Asia Society.
Kapoor Galleries Inc. has played an instrumental role in educating the public about Ancient and Classical Fine Arts of India and the Himalayas and encouraging interest in Indian art among collectors and institutions. For over forty years, they have been dedicated to building strong client-dealer relationships, earning the respect, loyalty, and trust of those with whom we build collections. Kapoor Galleries has guided some of the most significant public and private collections of the 20th century as an arbiter of connoisseurship in the field.
Norberto Rivera is Brooklyn born. He graduated from St. John’s University, majoring in both in Chemistry and Biology. He then worked as a chemist for Estée Lauder. The next chapter of his life he graduated from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in NYC, and worked for Sotheby’s Latin Department, Miguel Saco, Art Restorer and Mid-century Dealer and then Carole Thibaut Pomerantz, Art Deco & Antique Wallpaper dealer, before coming to Throckmorton Fine Art where is now a Director.
Barbara Earl Thomas is a Seattle based visual artist with numerous national exhibits to her credit and an active art making career that spans 30 years. A skilled painter who now builds tension-filled narratives through paper-cuts and prints, placing silhouetted figures in social and political landscapes. She pulls from mythology and history to create a contemporary visual narrative that challenges the stories we tell as Americans about who we are. Thomas is known for her large-scale installations that use light as the animating force and invites her viewers to step inside her world of illuminated scenography. Thomas’s works are included in the collections of the Seattle, Tacoma and Portland Art Museums, Chrysler Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Microsoft, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Washington State and Seattle City public collections. She received her BA and MFA from the
University of Washington School of Art. Thomas recently completed commissioned work at Yale University’s Hopper College as well as two major exhibitions, Geography of Innocence, Seattle Art Museum November 2020 -January 2022, and Packaged Black, a collaboration with New York based artist, Derrick at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington October 2021-May 2022. Upcoming solo exhibits at Chrysler Museum of Art (Virginia), Wichita Art Museum (Kansas), and the Arthur Ross Gallery at University of Pennsylvania.
Savona Bailey-McClain is Executive Director/Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund, which has organized high- profile public arts exhibits throughout New York City for the past 25 years, including Times Square, DUMBO, Soho, Governors Island and Harlem. Her public art installations encompass sculpture, drawings, performance, sound, and mixed media, and have been covered extensively by the New York Times, Art Daily, Artnet, Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post, among many others. She was the host/producer of “State of the Arts NYC,” a weekly radio program on iTunes, Radio Public, Youtube, Mixcloud and other audio platforms. She is a member of ArtTable, Governors Island Advisory Council, Member of the NYC Advisory Board Dance for Sacred Places and Board Member for NY Equity Gallery.
West Harlem Art Fund (WHAF) is a twenty-five year-old, public art and new media organization. Like explorers from the past, who searched for new lands and people, WHAF seek opportunities for artists and creative professionals throughout NYC and beyond wishing to showcase and share their talent. The West Harlem Art Fund presents art and culture in open and public spaces to add aesthetic interest; promote historical and cultural heritage; and support community involvement in local development. Our heritage symbol Afuntummireku-denkyemmtreku: is the double crocodile from West Africa Ghana which means unity in diversity.
Master Drawings New York was established in 2006 and co-founded by Margot Gordon and Crispian Riley-Smith. Master Drawings New York (MDNY) is the pre- eminent event for exhibiting and celebrating old Masters through contemporary drawings in the United States. Dealers from the United States and Europe showcase their highest quality drawings in galleries along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Scheduled for the last week of January, the event coincides with the major Old Master auctions and scholarly events focused on drawings. It is a week dedicated to historic art, where collectors, scholars, museum curators and dealers travel to New York from around the world to view artwork and participate in the events around the city.
See the full video here