Amy Cappellazzo, an influential figure within the art market, will leave Sotheby’s, where she is currently chairman of the global fine arts division. Having been at the house for more than five years, she joined it in 2016, when the house acquired her firm, Art Agency, Partners, for $85 million.
With Cappellazzo’s departure expected for July, the house will reorganize its leadership. Brooke Lampley and Mari-Claudia Jiménez will now lead the global fine arts division, and Grégoire Billault, senior vice president at Sotheby’s, will become the house’s chairman of contemporary art.
A release from Sotheby’s announcing the shake-up did not say where Cappellazzo was headed next. In a statement, she said that she was departing to “pursue my own entrepreneurial path.”
“I’m confident that Sotheby’s is in a strong position as it embarks on the next chapter of its expansion and success,” her statement reads.
Cappellazzo cofounded her firm Art Agency, Partners with Allan Schwartzmann in 2014. She came to the house during a particularly turbulent period, and with a focus on private sales, she has aided in making top-dollar transactions with major collectors like Dan Loeb and Alice Walton.
She got her start as director of Rubell Collection in Miami in the 1990s, rose to the status of a market celebrity when she helped launch Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002, and went on to work for Christie’s for 13 years prior to forming her firm in 2014. In 2019, as part of a restructuring, she was named head of the global fine arts division, whose focus ranges from Old Masters to prints and photographs. Because she is one of the few women working at the top of the art market, she has become a cult figure both within the art world and beyond it, with Crain’s New York naming her one of the most powerful women in 2019.
In a statement, Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart said, “I would like [to] thank Amy for her significant contributions to Sotheby’s over the last five and a half years and I am personally grateful for the unconditional support she has given me since my arrival two years ago. I wish her well as she pursues her next entrepreneurial endeavor.”