The news that Edward Dolman is moving on from Christie’s surprised no one in the art world. But the fact that he will be working for the Al-Thani family in his new position with the Qatari museums authority raises an obvious question. The Al-Thani’s have been vocal in their interest in buying Christie’s from Francois Pinault. Now they have the former CEO advising them.
Dolman’s departure also raises interest in Christie’s new strategy. After all, CEOs are replaced when owners want to pursue a new direction in the business. New CEO Stephen Murphy has offered few hints about where he will be taking the company save for the promotion of Post-War and Contemporary department co-head Amy Cappellazzo to a new role as director of business development where she will pursue expanding Christie’s private sales.
Recently, Dominique Levy, who once ran Christie’s private sales, commented on the role within an auction house to The Art Newspaper:
It was obvious that auction houses would, at some moment, understand that with their incredible database of information, private sales was a logical evolution. However, it has never really come naturally to them. It’s still like swimming against the flow. I don’t believe they do it as much as we dealers, so much of their attention is on putting great sales together.
“Having a Partner Takes a Lot of Work, But It’s Worth It” (The Art Newspaper)