James Martin

  • Senior Vice President | Director of Scientific Research
New York


James Martin is a scientist, professor, art conservator, and artist. James founded and operated Orion, a micro-niche materials analysis and consulting firm established in 2000 to investigate art, cultural property, and collectibles spanning more than 4,000 years – from ancient Egyptian artifacts to paintings and sculpture, architectural finishes, Bordeaux wines, and more. People on five continents relied on James to elucidate the structure and composition of materials, resolve questions about attribution and authenticity, provide leads and testimony in civil and criminal proceedings, help build and preserve assets and legacies – and avoid costly litigation. James taught at the Getty, Smithsonian, and FBI Counter-terrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit, and now holds academic appointments at New York University and Williams College. He conducted art fraud investigations for the FBI for twenty years, and was an esteemed expert in criminal investigations and legal proceedings in the United States and abroad. He has undertaken more than 1,800 investigations. From start to finish, James had his hands and eyes on every project element; thus, the service Orion’s clients received was agile, attuned, discrete, and focused, and he was able to synthesize complex bodies of information, observations, and data to solve specific problems – accurately, coherently, and reliably. This model lead to an extraordinarily high rate of success – and professional enjoyment – for James and the people he served.

Sotheby’s acquired Orion in 2016 and hired James to use the Orion model to establish and direct the company’s first scientific research department – to serve a new clientele: the specialists and researchers at Sotheby’s.

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