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Helena Newman named chairman of Sotheby’s Europe in staff restructure

A slew of new posts includes the appointment of museum professional Eric Shiner to the Fine Arts division

The staff reshuffle at Sotheby’s continues with the announcement that Helena Newman, the auction house’s worldwide co-head of Impressionist and Modern, will also assume the role of chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, joining fellow chairmen Oliver Barker, Mario Tavella and Philipp Württemberg. Newman conducted the Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby’s London on 21 June; she is only the second woman ever to take an evening sale, the first one being Melanie Clore, also at Sotheby’s, in 1990. 

Meanwhile, James Mackie, who has run the Impressionist and Modern evening sales at Sotheby’s Bond Street, London, has been made head of the Impressionist and Modern department in London. Replacing him as head of the evening sales is Thomas Bompard, formerly of the Impressionist and Modern department in Paris. 

Newman who has been at Sotheby’s since 1988, is one of the few veterans left at the company, which has seen high-profile figures depart including Henry Wyndham, the former chairman and auctioneer, and Alex Rotter, the former global co-head of contemporary art. Clore, previously co-chairman of Impressionist and Modern art, resigned in February, and has since announced that she is launching a London-based business with Wyndham in the autumn, which will help clients source works and manage their collections.

Meanwhile, the company has made a notable museum hire, tapping Eric Shiner, the former director of the Pittsburgh-based Andy Warhol Museum. He will join as a senior vice-president of Sotheby’s Fine Arts division, the new department headed up by the recent star hires Allan Schwartzman and Amy Cappellazzo, whose Art Agency Partners firm was bought by Sotheby’s in an $85m deal.