Christie’s Appoints New Impressionist and Modern Art Chairman for the Americas

Derek Gilman has been announced as Christie's new chairman and senior vice president of impressionist and modern art. Photo: Philly Record

The former director of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, Derek Gillman, has been appointed as Christie’s chairman and senior vice president of Impressionist and modern art for the Americas, the Art Newspaper reports. It is a position that has been newly created for him.

The move comes after Doug Woodham resigned shortly after the departure of former CEO Steven Murphy (see “Christie’s Americas President Doug Woodham Leaves“). François Pinault’s right-hand woman, Patricia Barbizet, has now taken the helm at the company (see “Why Was Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy Fired?”).

According to the New York Times, during his tenure at the Barnes Foundation, Gillman was responsible for moving the museum from its original home in Merion, Pennsylvania, to a new $150 million space in downtown Philadelphia. Gillman was severely criticized by commentators, and the museum faced several lawsuits relating to the move.

However, the institution thrived under his leadership. Following the controversial relocation, attendance rose to 330,000 from 62,000 within a year, and the operating budget increased to $17 million from $7 million.

Gillman’s appointment comes amid a global reshuffle among the leading auction houses: former Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht stepped down at the end of last year, and Edward Dolman, who took up his post as CEO of Phillips last July, is leading the Russian-owned auctioneer’s ambitious expansion strategy.

In a statement, the chairman of Christie’s Americas, Marc Porter, said that the auction house would benefit from Gillman’s “unbelievably strong global network of art collectors.” A spokeswoman added that he would “nurture client relationships and support business strategy around the world for the department.”

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