Auction veteran Saara Pritchard to join Amy Cappellazzo’s new consultancy as a partner
In the spring of 2020, during the early days of the pandemic shutdown, auction house veteran Saara Pritchard had an idea as nearly every art business scrambled to find ways to keep business moving. .
The idea, which became the Sotheby’s Gallery Platform, enabled galleries to list artworks for sale through the auction house’s website, helping to expose artworks to a wider audience and pool of potential buyers , and also allowed galleries to take advantage of the auction house’s existing e-commerce platform, in return for a flat commission based on sales.
“It was kind of my way – not really of being disruptive – but of realizing that it’s all about art,” Pritchard told Artnet News in a phone interview. “It’s not the auction houses versus the galleries. We all need to work together to reach new collectors for all of our businesses to be successful. We needed this influx of new energy. You can’t keep offering the same things to the same people all the time.
Today, after 14 years in the auction industry, including leading roles at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Pritchard joins former Sotheby’s colleagues Amy Cappellazzo and Adam Chinn and Asian Art Market Rainmaker Yuki Terase at Their New Launch artistic advice, Art Intelligence Global, as a partner.
“Saara Pritchard is one of the finest and most knowledgeable art experts of her generation,” Cappellazzo told Artnet News via email. “From Ab Ex to emerging young contemporary, his range of knowledge and execution skills is top notch.”
“People ask what the business model is,” Pritchard said of the new board. “I think we are all united in this philosophy that things can be done in a much better way. I spent many years across the table starting estates and organizing big pitches. I loved telling the stories of these collectors, but there are also very practical considerations to take into account. How is heritage broken down? What is sold? What is gifted? Seeing all the different ways families have done this over the generations, and obviously how art has become a substantial asset class, it’s really important to have good advice.
Pritchard said that while hanging the art collection she shares with her husband, she realized that most were female artists. “We have 75% of female artists. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, it was work that made sense to my husband and me.
This is perhaps not surprising to outside observers. At Sotheby’s, Pritchard was particularly known for being a strong advocate of female artists, as evidenced by her instrumental role in developing the market for the work of Lee Krasner. She brought to market the first all-female auction, chaired by Oprah Winfrey and Agnes Gund and titled “By Women, for the Women of Tomorrow.”
“I can look at my Perle Fine and Hedda Stern drawings and I love Elaine de Kooning’s drawings Cave next to a Silvia Sleigh, drawings of stones,” she said. “I love that it’s all coming from the Hamptons, about these women who were never really in the art world – a little adjacent because of their husbands – but who did these wonderful works.”
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