Tufts | Alumni Award Honorees 2020 | SERVICE CITATION Cynthia Corbett

Tufts, February 18, 2021

Cynthia Valianti Corbett, a native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, is the Founder and Director of the Cynthia Corbett Gallery and the Young Masters Art Prize & an international contemporary art gallery which has an annual exhibition programme and regularly exhibits at contemporary art fairs.


Cynthia trained as an art historian at Christie’s Education before establishing her gallery in 2004. Prior to this, she had a high-profile career as an international economist specialising in emerging markets and was the principle architect of the debt conversion plans for most of Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s. Cynthia was also a regular commentator in the financial broadsheets in both New York and London. She relocated from New York City to London in 1986.


Cynthia obtained a BA with Honors (Magna Cum Laude) & was a Commonwealth Scholar from UMASS Amherst in Political Science and holds an MALD from The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Since opening her Gallery, Cynthia’s original stable of artists have all established successful careers. Cynthia also enjoys the process of identifying trends and supporting fledging careers and with this in mind launched The Young Masters Art Prize in 2009 which is a unique not-for-profit competition, open to international and UK-based artists. The Prize aims to give an international platform and exhibition opportunities to both emerging and established artists. The Prize was founded to celebrate artistic skill and innovation with awareness of the Old Masters, relevant cultural history and the art of the past. In 2014, the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize was created to showcase the growing renaissance in ceramics world-wide and 2017 saw the addition of the Young Masters Emerging Women Artist Award. The fifth edition and tenth Anniversary Exhibition of the Prize took place in October 2019. Always on the lookout for new talent, in 2017 Cynthia presented and promoted Young Masters to Tufts University’s newly acquired School of the Museum Fine Arts (SMFA). The result was extraordinary as three female SMFA alumni were chosen as finalists for the 2017 Prize – out of a shortlist of only 18 artists. Two of these artists won both the Emerging Women Artist Award and the First and Second Prize of the overall Young Masters Award.


Cynthia is a founding member of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), an AWITA member, supporter of many arts organisations including BFAMI, The Royal Academy of Art, The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), The Tate, Serpentine Gallery, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston Massachusetts and is both a Patron of the V & A Museum and an ArtAngel Angel. She is a member of The Arts Club (Dover Street) & The House of St Barnabas in London and The Norwood Club in New York.

Cynthia’s other passions include theatre, walking, reading, travel, and Jazz singing. She is married with one daughter and lives in Wimbledon, London