Joshua Holdeman Named Sotheby’s Worldwide 20th-Century Design Head

Joshua Holdeman. Photo: courtesy Sotheby's.

Sotheby’s has named Joshua Holdeman its worldwide head of 20th-century design, photographs and prints, effective immediately.

Holdeman began his career at New York’s Robert Miller Gallery, where worked for close to a decade, before founding the photography department at Phillips auction house in 2001. He then spent 10 years at Christie’s, initially as the international head of photographs and 20th-century design, and most recently in the chairman’s office. Last April, Holdeman joined Sotheby’s as senior vice president and vice chairman of the Americas (see “Weekly Shuffle: de Blasio Appoints Cultural Affairs Commissioner, Maccarone Promotes Partner, and More“).

“The categories of 20th-century design, photographs and prints have tremendous growth potential in today’s ever-expanding market of all things modern, and we are delighted that Josh is going to help position Sotheby’s to take full advantage of this,” said Sotheby’s Americas managing director Maarten ten Holder in a statement.

“Throughout his entire career, Josh has focused on art and design of the last century,” added Sotheby’s Europe managing director Mark Cornell, noting that Holdeman’s “extensive experience in this arena situates him perfectly for this role.”

The appointment follows last month’s announcement that CEO Bill Ruprecht would resign from his post by mutual agreement with the auction house board and would receive a generous severance package (see “Say Goodbye to the Rug Guy, Sotheby’s CEO William Ruprecht Pushed Out” and “Outgoing Sotheby’s CEO Bill Ruprecht Gets $4 Million Severance“). Ruprecht’s last years at the house were marked by a prolonged proxy battle with Dan Loeb that saw the activist investor win seats on the board for himself and two of his pals (see “Dan Loeb Triumphs, Will Join Sotheby’s Board“).

Earlier this week, speculation arose that Sotheby’s might be looking to poach longtime Museum of Modern Art director Glenn Lowry to help fill the power vacuum created by Ruprecht’s impending exit (see “Is Glenn Lowry Leaving MoMA for Sotheby’s?“).

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