Sotheby’s Nabs Warhol Museum Director for Top Private Sales Role

Eric Shiner will join a new private sales division.

Eric Shiner. Photo: Abby Warhola

Eric Shiner is leaving his post as director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg to join Sotheby’s new fine art division as a senior vice president.

In a move that takes him from the non-profit to the private sector, Shiner, who is leaving the museum in September, will be working in private sales in a new department under Amy Cappellazzo and Allan Schwartzman.

“There’s much more porosity in the art world now between the market, the collector base, galleries, and the nonprofit world of museums,” Shiner told the New York Times. “So it seemed like a natural transition.”

The Cappellazzo group, which was acquired by Sotheby’s in January of this year, and since there have been a number of changes from the introduction of an African art Department in London to bringing Candy Coleman back into the fold at Sotheby’s Los Angeles. This is another big hire for the auction house.

“There is probably not a greater Warhol expert on the planet,” Cappellazzo told NYT. “Eric has always had entrepreneurial thinking.”

According to ex-Sotheby’s exec, dealer David Nash, the launch of a new division dedicated to private sales is a shrewd move.

“The driving force behind this initiative to increase private sales is that there are greater profit margins at the moment,” said Nash, who spent over 30 years as a top executive at the auction house to NYT. “This follows on from the intense competition between the auction houses for consigned property.”

Shiner leaves the Andy Warhol Museum after having worked there for eight years. He joined the museum as a curator in 2008 and was then promoted to director in 2011, making this his fifth year in the role.

Shiner has taken on another role in the private sector: On June 1, the Armory Show announced it had recruited Jarrett Gregory, associate curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Shiner for the curatorial team of the 2017 edition of the New York art fair.

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