Julian Dawes

  • SVP | Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Americas
New York


Julian Dawes is the Head of Impressionist and Modern Art and Co-Head of Marquee Auctions for Sotheby’s in the Americas. Since joining Sotheby’s in 2008, Julian has helped lead his team to unprecedented market-share in the category, initially overseeing cataloguing and research and later running the semiannual Day Sales in New York. Mr. Dawes maintains a strong client network in the United States and abroad, and plays a key role in sourcing property for Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary sales in New York, Europe and Asia, helping to secure historic consignments from venerated institutions such as The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, as well as numerous private individuals. During his tenure, Mr. Dawes has been instrumental in orchestrating highly successful collection sales including The Collection of Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt, The Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Property from the late Robert and Elizabeth Haskell, the Collection of A. Alfred Taubman, The Triumph of Color and the Important Private Collection which included the world record for Monet, Meules. Since the pandemic, he has overseen record setting auctions including The Macklowe Collection, The David M. Solinger Collection and The Mo Ostin Collection.

Over the years Mr. Dawes has curated highly successful private selling exhibitions including 2014’s Rudolf Bauer: Tomorrow Today, 2015’s Cherchez la Femme: Women and Surrealism, and 2017’s Iconoplastic: 100 Years of De Stijl, all of which sought to spotlight lesser-known and undervalued artists via new scholarship and innovative exhibition design. In November 2018 he organized The Beautiful and Damned: Radical Art of the Great War, a curated catalogue and exhibition to commemorated the centennial of the WW1 armistice. In addition to significant private transactions, Julian’s focus on Surrealism and Abstraction has played a key role in achieving world auction records for René Magritte, Francis Picabia, Frida Kahlo, Dorothea Tanning, Kay Sage, Leonor Fini, Enrico Donati, Leonora Carrington, Kurt Seligmann, Rudolf Bauer and Fritz Glarner, among others.

Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Mr. Dawes worked at Rago Arts and Auction Center in his native New Jersey, as a Triage Appraiser on Antiques Roadshow and in the Education Department at The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Duke in Art History and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter.

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