Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2024 Issue

The Invisible Man: Sanford L. Smith

L to R: Donald Heald, Sunday Steinkirchner, and Sanford Smith, 2002

The Invisible Man at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair has left the building.  Who was he?  Sanford L. Smith, the show impresario who created and ran fairs, among them The New York  International Antiquarian Book Fair.  He passed away recently, at 84, leaving his firm to his family.


Among Mr. Smith’s accomplishments were to keep the ABAA’s fair at the Park Avenue Armory. Between changing tastes and preferences and the extended COVID lockdown, the book fair looked destined to land at the less appealing Javits Center. Between Mr. Smith’s interest in collectible paper and Donald Heald’s leadership organizing the New York fair for many years, they found common ground. Their personal affinity saved the Armory and their preferred April weekend date.


As to 2025 and 2026, the show’s future is going to be in new hands.


Here is his firm’s announcement of his passing.

Sanford L. Smith + Associates Positioned for Growth

Following the Legacy of Late Founder Sanford L. Smith


NEW YORK (May 29, 2024) – Sanford L. Smith + Associates (SLSA) – the renowned management and production company behind some of the world’s most prestigious art, design and cultural fairs including Salon Art + Design – announced the passing of its Founder Sanford L. Smith – known as Sandy among his family, friends and peers - this past Saturday, May 25, at the age of 84. For more than 40 years, Smith was known for initiating innovative niche art and design fairs that have generated international collecting categories. The company, left by Smith to wife and partner Jill Bokor, Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Stark, and Managing Director and Executive Director of Salon Art + Design Nicky Dessources, is in a stable position with projections for growth and plans to uphold and honor the legacy of Smith. Colin Lynch Smith, the eldest of Smith’s four sons says, “my brothers and I are thrilled that the Company that our father

began will continue under such strong and creative leadership. We can’t wait to see what’s next!”


SLSA is known for managing and producing internationally renowned fairs which include the currently running Salon Art + Design, the ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair and The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) Art Show. Smith created the first All American Antiques Show at the Pier in 1980, when both the idea of an entirely American fair and any fair held at such a remote venue were nearly unthinkable. His second show, Modernism, was seminal; at that time, no other show had presented design material from 1860–1960 as a collecting category. The fair enjoyed a successful run for over 25 years and spawned several shows exhibiting material from that period. Works on Paper followed presenting a wide variety of watercolors, photographs, prints, drawings and pastels from Old Master to Contemporary. The Outsider Art Fair which was run by SLSA for many years was later sold and is still a much-anticipated annual event.


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


After retiring from the business one year ago, Smith gave a great deal of thought to the succession of his company, which will continue to be named for its founder. Smith remained Chairman Emeritus and left the business in the hands of Stark (CEO), Dessources(Managing Director), and Bokor (General Counselor).  Together they will continue to maintain and grow their core fairs and lead the company in a trajectory of growth. Already under their leadership, SLSA took on a new fair in 2024, managing the Ephemera Society of America’s (ESA) Ephemera Fair in Greenwich, Connecticut this past March.


“I have full confidence that the business will continue to blossom,” says Jennifer Stark. “Sandy built an incredible company and surrounded himself with people he trusted wholeheartedly. The entire team is dedicated to honoring his legacy while taking the company into new and exciting territory in the coming years.”


Bokor and Smith maintained a special, close personal and professional relationship, working together to grow the company and raise their son, Luc-Bokor Smith. Prior to her role as General Counselor, Bokor served as Executive Director of Salon Art + Design for more than a decade. Dessources joined SLSA in 2015 and swiftly advanced to the role of Logistics and Fair Director for Salon Art + Design and the ABAA NYIABF. Now, Dessources succeeds Bokor as Executive Director of Salon Art + Design, where she will oversee all aspects of the fair. Stark, has been a pivotal figure in the company since 2014. She has over 30 years of experience producing high-caliber events and has been instrumental in managing day to day operations of SLSA, The Art Show, and spearheading the marketing and promotion for the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair and Salon Art + Design.


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 April 3 – 6, 2025 at Park Avenue Armory and the 45th Annual Ephemera Fair, March 14 – 16, 2025 in Greenwich, Connecticut. An official announcement for Salon will follow in the coming weeks.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.

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