Sometimes if feels like the New York Times just can’t help itself from trolling the art market. Over the past year, a substantial number of auction house staff have left both Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
Three top executives have left Christie’s: Paul R. Provost, the senior vice president and director of trusts, estates & appraisals; Nicholas Hall, international head of old master paintings and 19th Century Art; and Cathy Elkies, head of Christie’s 20th and 21st Century design.
It was unclear whether they were dismissed or left of their own accord; the three did not respond to emails seeking comment.
There are a variety of reasons for these departures. Sotheby’s offered incentives for employees to leave. Christie’s seems to have been going through a long and drawn out revamping of the firm in the wake of new leadership.
Both houses are trying to bring their cost structure in line with a substantially reduced volume of transactions at auction.
In this particular report from the New York Times, three isolated departures during the Summer hiatus hardly seems like an exodus.
An Exodus at Christie’s (The New York Times)