Simon Shaw, newly appointed Co-Head, Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide, vividly recalls the moment he first saw Edvard Munch’s The Scream in Oslo. “When we took the picture out of the crate it was the most moving, emotional experience that I’ve ever had with a work of art,” says Simon, who had the privilege of orchestrating the May 2012 sale of The Scream for an historic $119.9 million – the record price for a Modern work at auction.
Simon has long been fascinated by Nordic art, and deepened his knowledge in that field in Scandinavia, where he worked extensively and also served as Director of Sotheby’s Stockholm. Prior to that, he worked in the Impressionist & Modern departments in Paris and in London, where he launched his career at Sotheby’s in 1996. Long before attending the Courtauld Institute, where he specialised in 18th-century French and British works, Simon was fascinated by art. “I remember at the age of 15 or 16 looking through Sotheby’s catalogues and seeing these extraordinary riches,” he says. “I knew I wanted to work with pictures every day.”
Along with his extensive knowledge of the international market, it is that deep connection to pictures that has allowed Mr. Shaw to build privileged contacts with collectors and institutions worldwide. “There is a passion in the connection to a work that we share with our clients and that’s what is truly special about our business at Sotheby’s.”