Helena Newman Appointed as Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe After High-Level Departures

Newman recently became the first woman to lead an evening sale since 1990.

Helena Newman. courtesy of Sotheby's.
Helena Newman. courtesy of Sotheby's.

Co-Head worldwide of Impressionist and Modern Art, Helena Newman, has been appointed an additional position as Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. Newman will work alongside fellow chairmen Oliver Barker, Mario Tavella, and Philipp Württemberg to assure the smooth running and growth of Sotheby’s client relationships, business and consignment winning strategy within Europe. Her appointment ensues a string of departures of high-level staffers.

Newman will take on the role of chairman armed with twenty-eight fruitful years of experience at Sotheby’s and extensive knowledge in Impressionist and modern art, as well as an excellent track record of leadership when it comes to landmark moments and sales in Sotheby’s history.

Sotheby's Helena Newman, Philip Hook and Melanie Clore courtesy of Sotheby's.

Sotheby’s Helena Newman (L), Philip Hook and Melanie Clore courtesy of Sotheby’s.

In 2010, Newman presided over the most successful auction ever held in Europe—raising $263.6 million—which included the sale of Giacometti’s L’homme qui marche I, 1961 for $104.3 million, at the time marking the highest amount paid for a work at auction. In addition, Newman was the first woman to lead an evening sale in London since 1990 when she headed the house’s first Impressionist and Modern sale after the Brexit vote, which raised yet another impressive sum of $151 million for Sotheby’s.

Newman’s status as a powerful woman in the field does not come from experience alone, but also from personal charm. She is known to lead sales with particular charisma. In an interview with the New York Times, Newman discussed her signature style: “What you absolutely have to avoid is monotony and boredom,” she said. “Some approach it like an athlete, some like an actor. I approach it as a musician, with crescendos and diminuendos.”


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