Helena Newman, the co-head worldwide of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, has been named chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, the auction house announced in a statement. A 28-year veteran of the house, Newman will continue to head up the Imp-mod division alongside co-head Simon Shaw, and will work alongside fellow chairmen Oliver Barker, Mario Tavella, and Philipp Württemberg, all fellow longtime Sotheby’s employees.
The appointment comes following successful sales in London last month, and in the middle of a house-wide restructuring that has mixed internal appointments with daring hires from outside the auction world. Last week, it was announced that Eric Shiner, the director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, would come to Sotheby’s as the senior vice president of the fine art division run by Amy Cappellazzo and Allan Schwartzman (who themselves were left-field hires, working as art advisors for the firm they co-founded, Art Agency, Partners).
“I am thrilled to see Helena take on this additional position at the helm of our European organization,” said Maarten ten Holder, Sotheby’s managing director for Europe. “She will bring to the role as chairman not only the experience of 28 highly successful years at Sotheby’s, but also an unparalleled depth of expertise and relationships in the field of Impressionist and modern art, where she has been key, both to our longstanding leadership in the field and to many historic moments and landmark sales.”
During the London auctions in June, Newman became the first female auctioneer to helm an evening sale in that city since 1990. She guided the Impressionist and modern art evening sale to a haul of $151.9 million.