Melanie Clore, the highly respected Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and one of the most experienced businesswomen and art experts working in the market today is to leave Sotheby’s after 35 years. Clore started at Sotheby’s on the front desk and worked her way up to running the company. Her highly successful specialist sales in the fields of Impressionist and Modern Art catapulted her standing as a tastemaker in the art-world.
Melanie led the Impressionist & Modern Art department from 1990, in which year she also became the first female auctioneer to take an Evening sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. In 2000 she became Co-Chairman Worldwide of the Impressionist & Modern Art Department and in January 2011 she became Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe alongside Henry Wyndham. Under her leadership, Sotheby’s held the most successful auction ever to have taken place in London at any auction house – our Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist Art Evening Sale in February 2015, which achieved £186.4 million.
Ms Clore brought some of the highest yielding lots to the company including Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot in November 2014, which sold for $101 million to more recently the sale of Lucian Freud’s Pregnant Girl (1960-61), which sold on Wednesday, 10 February, for a hammer price of £14.2m (£16.1m with premium, estimate £7m-£10m). As Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe Melanie has been crucial in driving Sotheby’s successes across a number of different categories. In 2014 she was responsible for bringing to auction the outstanding collection of the late Stanley J Seeger, 1000 Ways of Seeing, which encompassed 1000 objects spanning every department at Sotheby’s. In December 2014, Melanie took the winning bid for J.M.W. Turner’s Rome from Mount Aventine, which sold for £30.3 million and represents the auction record for any early British Painting.
Clore said her decision was made last November, before Sotheby’s announced it had bought the art advisory firm Art Agency, Partners a deal worth up to $85m. AAP’s Amy Cappellazzo (former head of Christie’s Contemporary) and Allan Schwartzman will now head a newly-formed division at Sotheby’s that will seal a large portion of the 20th- and 21st-century art market.
In a statement Clore said;”I have decided it was the perfect time to hand over the baton and move to the next stage in my career.” In 2004, the Prime Minister appointed Melanie to the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery and she is now an honorary member of the Tate Foundation. Melanie is a Trustee of The Clore Duffield Foundation, which supports cultural learning, arts and heritage organisations and social care in the UK and Israel.