A s the global art market continues to diversify and celebrate artists from all over the world, Sotheby's is excited to announce that later this year it will open a new German headquarters and selling location at the historic Palais Oppenheim in Cologne, launching dedicated auctions for the first time in the company's legacy in the region, cementing the country as a major market player and key focus for the international art world.
Building on the company’s over fifty-year-long history in the country, Sotheby's location in Cologne will offer a global platform to local works, with sales sales largely focusing on Modern & Contemporary Art, Design, Photography and Ultra Contemporary works by artists from Germany and surrounding countries who, until now, have rarely appeared in Sotheby’s auction rooms before.
Based in the Palais Oppenheim in Cologne, a splendid villa built in 1908 in the neighbourhood of Bayenthal, this will become Sotheby’s sixth European selling location, joining London, Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Milan, and Cologne – a city at the centre of a region with one of the highest concentrations of industry, capital and collectors in Europe, a vibrant art scene, numerous museums, galleries and the exhibition spaces run by artists all of which offer a diverse range of activities throughout the year and – is the perfect addition.
As Sebastian Fahey, Senior Director, Managing Director, Sotheby’s EMEA says: “Germany has always been an epicentre for exciting artistic developments with an engaged collecting community to match, and we are thrilled now to be taking our business forward in the country. Not only will our new headquarters allow us to welcome and entertain local collectors; it will also enable us to better serve our clients from right across Northern Europe than ever before. This new venture, and the bolstering of Sotheby’s team in Germany, speaks to our long-term commitment to investing and expanding our business there across fine art and luxury, and in both auction and private sales.”
Last year, a wide-ranging programme of online auction reached a record $575 million at Sotheby’s. The first three confirmed Cologne auctions for 2021 are an inaugural sale of Modern & Contemporary Art with a price range of circa €3,000-300,000 in mid-September, a cross-category NOW of works by emerging young and cutting-edge artists complemented by renowned local and international artists in November, and a further sale in autumn dedicated to luxury items.
Leading this exciting transition will be an experienced team of specialists from across Germany. Eva Donnerhack, currently a Specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, will assume the role of Head of Sales.
Franka Haiderer, Chairwoman, Head of Germany, Head of Business Development EMEA and Asia says: "Germany has long been an important sourcing centre for major works for Sotheby’s international sales, and it is high-time for the country to be transformed into a Sotheby’s selling center too. Our new headquarters will be located in Cologne, the beating heart of the art world in this region, and a city surrounded by one of the highest concentrations of collectors and contemporary art institutions in Europe. We hope the Palais will become a base not only for collectors in Germany, but for our neighbours in Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and beyond too, and we cannot wait to open our doors.”
Today, German collectors remain essential to Sotheby’s business, featuring in the list of top 10 countries most actively buying and selling in Sotheby’s sales for the past three years. This builds on the legacy of landmark sales that have made headlines across the globe, most famously Alberto Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche I, from the collection of Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt that sold for $104.3 million in London in 2010, as well as important collections including Helga and Walther Lauffs, Lenz Schönberg, Dürckheim, Gunter Sachs, the Bernheimer Family collection, SØR Rusche, or most recently from the Estate of Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher.