The Art Dealers Association of America has announced that Cheim & Read’s Adam Sheffer, the vice president of the organization since 2013 and chairman of its annual fair since 2009, was elected president at an annual board meeting yesterday.
Additionally, the board has elected as directors Francis Beatty (of Richard L. Feigen & Co.), Valerie Carberry (of Richard Gray Gallery), Susan Dunne (of Pace Gallery), Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (of Salon 94), Fredericka Hunter (of Texas Gallery), Bo Joseph (of Allan Stone Projects), Barbara Krakow (of Barbara Krakow Gallery), and gallery owners Barbara Mathes and Anthony Meier.
Sheffer, who begins in his new role today, will succeed Dorsey Waxter, who had served as ADAA’s president since 2012.
Sheffer, who holds the positions of partner and sales director at Cheim & Read, has served in ADAA leadership roles since 2005. He comes with 25 years of experience in the art world, having been a director for three ADAA members—Robert Miller Gallery, Danese Gallery, and Mary Boone Gallery—before moving to his current role at Cheim & Read.
“What I’d like to do is take the opportunity to really strengthen the position that the ADAA takes as an advocate for the vital role that [dealers] play in today’s cultural ecology,” Sheffer said in a phone interview. “We do such multifaceted work that it often goes unnoticed—we produce scholarship, we do catalogues, we promote artists, we nurture careers through the ebbs and the flows and ups and downs of economic times, we work with collectors for extended periods of times and shape meaningful collections, and a lot of things that you don’t necessarily read about in the press. And I think it’s going to draw attention to all the good things that the ADAA and art dealers do.”
Sheffer said that he is also planning to rethink the presentation of the annual ADAA Art Show, which takes place each March in New York. “The thing that’s beautiful about that art fair is that it’s the only fair that has been created by and organized by art dealers for art dealers,” he said. “I mean, we’re in the business of art, not in the business of art fairs.”
“One of the things that I’d really like to work on is the notion that galleries represent relationships, not merely transactions,” he added. “We’re the people who still refer to what we do as art, not property.