Private sales are finding increasing favour with collectors and Sotheby’s has decided to develop this area of its contemporary art department with the nomination of a financial specialist to head Private Sales. David Schrader previously worked on Wall Street for 20 years, notably with JP Morgan. He will be responsible for Sotheby’s Private Sales for Contemporary Art, New York.

The financier is no stranger to the art world, having started his own (sizeable) collection of modern and contemporary works in the late-1990s. His fetish artists include Sol Lewitt, Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama, and Andy Warhol. Sotheby’s issued a statement saying that the company hopes he will, “bring his perspective and acumen as a sophisticated collector”. Amy Cappellazzo praised his ability to create an “enviable” collection, saying, “Over a 20-year period, he systematically refined his collection through thoughtful acquisitions and sales, gaining the respect of prominent dealers and collectors.”  She explained that his focus on research and knowledge of art networks would allow him to adapt to “technological developments” and fit “seamlessly” into Sotheby’s “ethos”.

In engaging a financial figure, Sotheby’s is changing the habits of a market that usually worked as a closed system. The company hope to benefit from his business acumen and, as noted by Bloomberg, his Wall Street contacts, which include several big collectors.

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