Sotheby’s announced a significant hire in its advisory business today. Christy MacLear, the head of Robert Rauschenberg Foundation which just saw the opening of a show at the Tate Modern which marks an inflection point in the foundation’s work.
Here’s Sotheby’s release on MacLear and her ambitions at Sotheby’s:
“Christy’s important role leading the legacies of Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Johnson and David Whitney is analogous to the long-term relationships that are the focus of the advisory work that we built at Art Agency, Partners and are expanding through Sotheby’s,” commented Allan Schwartzman, Chairman of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division and head of Art Agency, Partners’ Advisory services. “She has developed a specialized skill set and fills a void – the role between estate lawyers and gallerists that exists specifically to help living artists to plan, estate trustees to transition, and existing artist foundations to manage programs.”
As the inaugural CEO of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Christy MacLear oversaw the development of the strategy and vision, transition of assets, and implementation of all programs in art and scholarship – the creation of a legacy-based philanthropy program and the development of a new artist residency on Rauschenberg’s compound on Captiva Island, Florida. Her tenure was recently capped with the 1 December 2016 opening of ‘Robert Rauschenberg’ at Tate Modern, London, the first major retrospective of the artist since his death in 2008. Christy will continue to advise the Foundation into 2017 through the retrospective’s stops at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
“The Rauschenberg Foundation is in great shape; the future tracks are laid, and so I feel it’s time to look at helping a broader set of artists,” said Christy MacLear. “The market needs professional services that can plan an artist’s foundation, when artists are living, based on all assets and assist in that transition of the estate. It can be a costly error not to have an experienced person between your lawyer and your gallery – and having a financial and organizational plan in advance helps optimize an artist’s legacy.”
Example services that Sotheby’s will now provide include strategic planning with living artists considering all assets toward legacy goals; financial and organizational mapping from a studio to a foundation; advisory management during the estate process to transition assets with a long term view of use and value; and defining and launching programs for foundations to maximize their legacy’s reach and impact.