The Sydney Morning Herald gives us a pocket biography of Tim Goodman who bought Sotheby’s Australia suddenly and unexpectedly dealing a blow to his former partner Bonham’s:
Timothy David Goodman, 56, who has said he had visions of being “the next Kerry Packer”, was never going to be satisfied being a minor player in art auctioneering. Three out of four of Australia’s most expensive paintings were sold at Sotheby’s. The wealthiest, and those who want to be associated with a brand oozing aristocracy and tradition, sell and buy at Sotheby’s. Goodman wanted a slice of that action. […]
Short and well-padded, Goodman is one of the few auctioneers who does not affect an Oxbridge accent. He takes to the auction stand with an affable, bossy and unashamedly Australian manner, a robust sense of humour and a salesman’s gift of persuasion.
He plays as hard as he works. By all accounts he is fond of a drink and has a keen eye for the ladies. Some find his character bordering on boorish; others see it as refreshing in an industry rife with pretensions. […] After a varied and at times financially perilous career dealing in art and running an art gallery, a jewellery auction house and even a publishing venture, Goodman established the Goodman auction rooms in Double Bay in 1992.
His big break came in 2003 when he was approached by Robert Brooks, the chairman of British auction house Bonhams. For the past six years, Goodman has been the chief executive of Bonhams & Goodman, which has been trying to establish itself as one of Australia’s main players. Yet in buying the licence to the Sotheby’s Australia name, Goodman has severed ties with Bonhams. He will terminate the licence to use the Bonhams’ name on December 22.
On Tuesday night, a furious Brooks was flying to Australia to sort out the mess Goodman had left him. He has launched action in the NSW Supreme Court to ensure Goodman continues to use the Bonhams brand in Australia until December 22.
The Man Who Would Be Auction King (Sydney Morning Herald)