Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd

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Postal Address

Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd,
Summergill, Kirkby Malham,
North Yorkshire.
BD23 4BS, England

Tel:  +44 [0]1729 830 734
Fax: +44 [0]1729 901 100

Mobile: +44 [0]7771 552509

Registered Office: As above
Company No: 7771310

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About me

I have been working in the art market since 1989 and principally sell Fine Master Drawings from the sixteenth century to early twentieth centuries, however I also deal in contemporary pictures and have held a number of contemporary exhibitions. Some of these contemporary pictures can be seen on this website, and I have had focused exhibitions on contemporary botanical works as well as figurative, landscape and animalier pictures.

In July each year in London I participate in London Art Week [was called Master Drawings London & Sculpture week] and in January in Manhattan I also exhibit in Master Drawings New York week. The links to these sites are on each page of this website. I am actively involved with the organisation and running of these events in New York and London with my colleagues in the fine art trade. I also work as a consultant to Bonhams UK and Bonhams & Butterfields in the USA for their Old Master Drawings.

One of my areas of expertise is advising private clients in many areas in the art market, due to my own unique and extensive experience of having worked for all the main auction houses and in the trade. In addition to this I advise Private Collectors, Institutional buyers and Museums in the buying and selling of fine drawings and paintings at auction or from dealers, valuations for probate, for Canadian Cultural Heritage, for Insurance and other Tax purposes.

I have written in numerous publications and lectured at various societies and conducted historical art tours. A number of these articles are published on this website.

My interest in the Fine Arts started as a student at Eton College, where I studied Art History, and had an extensive practical experience as a student in sculpture, and winning the senior Sculpture Prize. I went on to study Art History at University and as a student at St. Andrews University in Scotland where I gained an MA with Honours. With summer jobs at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice and Sotheby's in Florence after graduation I joined Sotheby's London as a graduate trainee working in various departments from Impressionist pictures to Jewellery. I had some work experience at the British Museum, assisting a keeper in the Prints & Drawings Department, and it was at this point that I decided to specialise in the field of Master Drawings. I joined Phillips, Son & Neale and worked there for four years. In 1994 I was instrumental in arranging the loan of the collection of the 'De Pass Master Drawings Collection, from the Royal Truro Museum', an exhibition that travelled from Phillips offices in London to Truro in Cornwall. Regarding the auctions I made a notable discovery, from a private European collection, of a drawing in red chalk of 'Susannah and the Elders' by Guercino, which fetched a work record price at auction for the artist, and was to remain so for 20 years. I went on to gain further practical experience as an artist and studied life drawing in evening classes at Heatherly’s School of Art, where I learnt just how difficult it is to be a professional artist! An opportunity arose to join the Old Master Drawings Department at Christie's where I worked till 1998. Whilst at Christie's I worked on all the major auctions and valuations during this period. In February 1998 I started my own business.

In 2000, with a number of colleagues, I launched Master Drawings in London, now London Art Week, and in 2007 assisted Margot Gordon with starting Master Drawings New York. Both these events require extensive assistance from other dealers and I have found both events enormously helpful in meeting new clients and colleagues.



Please note all prices quoted include the drawings and mounts, the frames can be purchased separately.