The anodyne statements coming from Sotheby’s Australia to explain the sudden retirement of Tim Goodman–the man who only last year arranged the surprise switch from Bonham’s to Sotheby’s for his Second East Auction Holdings–can’t really explain the abrupt removal of Goodman and the ascent of his erstwhile deputy Geoffrey Smith. The dry narration in The Australian would lead the casual reader to understand that a very bad year for Sotheby’s Australia amid an overall not-great year for the Australian art market meant Goodman had run out of time with his partners:
Mr Smith said the resale royalty and the threatened changes to self-managed superannuation funds had deterred buyers.
Sotheby’s strategy was to sell fewer lots, but works of “exceptional quality” that had not been on the market previously or for many years, he said.
Mr Smith, who manages the estates of Australian artists James Gleeson and Albert Tucker, said he would also aim to develop the private treaty aspect of the business.
Among the new directors is Mr Smith’s partner, Gary Singer, a former deputy lord mayor of Melbourne and currently Sotheby’s chief executive.
Smith and Singer together own 40% of the auction house.
Local Managers Buy Sotheby’s Branch (The Australian)