Welcome to the Sotheby’s Talks Podcast

For almost three centuries, Sotheby’s has been the place to discover the greatest stories of creativity. We’ve been the temporary custodians of some of the world’s finest treasures, which you can see on display in our galleries on any given day.

Sotheby’s Talks is the podcast that celebrates art, culture, and collecting.

Featuring conversations with tastemakers, collectors and luminaries from the world of art and culture, this series invites you inside the world of Sotheby’s: a place where you can find the extraordinary – including contemporary art, Old Master paintings, rare books, jewellery, and memorabilia.

To step further into the world of Sotheby’s, you can visit any of our galleries around the world; they’re open to the public.

Celebrating Legacy

Season 2 of our podcast explores the power of artistic legacy through conversations with the descendants of some of the most influential figures in the history of art.

Impressionism and Its Legacy

In this episode, Sotheby’s Helena Newman is joined by Paul Signac’s great granddaughter Charlotte Hellman Cachin, photographer Erik Madigan Heck, and the National Gallery’s Christopher Riopelle for a conversation about the revolutionary impact made by the Impressionists. These groundbreaking artists – Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pisarro and Sisley – defied academic norms by their use of loose brush strokes, expressive colour, and their emphasis on everyday life. They changed art forever, and their influence can be seen in the work of artists like Seurat, Van Gogh, Derain, the Cubists and the abstract expressionists, through to contemporary fashion designers and photographers. This podcast was recorded at Sotheby’s in London to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Impressionism.

The Rothko Chapel, with Christopher Rothko and Dr. David Anfam

In this episode, Professor Shahidha Bari is joined by Christopher Rothko, custodian of the Rothko legacy, Dr David Anfam, curator and writer, and Lisa Dennison, Sotheby’s Chairman of the Americas for a conversation about The Rothko Chapel for an inside glimpse into the history of the chapel, its ambitions for the future and the part it plays in Rothko’s ongoing legacy. This podcast was originally recorded to mark the chapel’s 50th Anniversary, following restoration work to bring the space more in line with Rothko’s original vision.

Click here to watch an extended edition of this talk.

(Women) Artists

Season 1 of our podcast features talks focusing on great women in the arts, past, present – and future with guests including Marina Abramović, Mary McCartney, Tracey Emin, Paloma Picasso, Julianne Moore, Mary Beard, Celeste, and Helen Fielding. These episodes address important questions with regards to the market for female makers, and, in addition, explore the role of women throughout art history, both as artist and muse.

Artemisia Gentileschi with Katy Hessel and Letizia Treves

In this, the first episode of our series, acclaimed author and art historian Katy Hessel meets former National Gallery London curator Letizia Treves and Sotheby’s Edoardo Roberti for a conversation about pioneering 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi. This podcast was originally recorded to celebrate the opening of the National Gallery’s exhibition ‘Artemisia’, which ran from October 2020 to January 2021, sponsored by Sotheby’s.

Jane Austen with Helen Fielding and Gill Hornby

In this episode, two literary icons come together for a conversation about the beloved 19th-century novelist Jane Austen. Helen Fielding (creator of the multi-million selling Bridget Jones novels), and Gill Hornby (author of the bestselling Miss Austen, and The Story of Jane Austen) join Dr Kalika Sands, a specialist from Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts department, in a conversation that explores the enduring appeal and contemporary significance of Jane Austen, and the impact she has had on their own life and work.

Image-Makers with Mary McCartney and Sonia Boyce

In this episode, photographer Mary McCartney, Golden Lion prize-winning artist Dame Sonia Boyce, and the Daily Telegraph’s fashion director Lisa Armstrong joined forces for a conversation celebrating female creativity, and how women have used art, fashion, and photography to reframe their gendering in art, as both subject and image-maker.

Celebrating (Women) Artists with Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović is an art-world icon and a performance-art pioneer. In 2023, Abramović presented her solo exhibition 'After Life' at London's Royal Academy and became the first female artist in the institution’s 250-year history to fill the entire gallery space with her art. In this episode, Abramović joined Marina Ruiz Colomer and curator, broadcaster, and author Will Gompertz for a conversation about her life and work – and what it means to be a female artist today.

Women and Power with Mary Beard and Shahidha Bari

Over millennia, female power has been portrayed, mediated and exerted through visual art. But to what extent have women been packaged to fit a male template? This episode sees Sotheby’s specialist Holly Braine joined by Britain’s best-known classicist, Mary Beard, for a conversation about how Western culture has represented powerful women through the ages, from ancient goddesses like Aphrodite and Athena to Queen Elizabeth I and contemporary portraits of female icons.

Portraiture with Simon Schama and Eleanor Nairne

Fascination with our own likeness is one of the great constants of human history – and the portrait has long been the focus of that fascination. What can portraits tell us about the world and ourselves? This episode was recorded in June 2023, in the week that London’s National Portrait Gallery reopened and features Helena Newman, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, in conversation with the Barbican Art Gallery’s curator Eleanor Nairne and the award-winning art historian Simon Schama.

Women Artists in the City with Lubaina Himid

In this episode, art historian and broadcaster Carrie Scott is joined by Turner Prize-winning artist and activist Lubaina Himid, writer Lauren Elkin and Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art at Sotheby’s Hannah O’Leary for a conversation exploring modern city life from the perspective of female artists. This podcast was originally a live event, timed to highlight the touring exhibition Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City curated by Himid, which featured works from the Arts Council Collection.

Living Heritage with Olafur Eliasson and Hans Ulrich Obrist

In this episode, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist moderated a conversation between philanthropist and Creative Director of Lopud 1483 in Croatia, Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the artist Olafur Eliasson. Together they discussed Francesca’s restoration of the 15th-century Franciscan monastery Lopud 1483 as well as the relationships between art, history, and botany she discovered there.

Shaping Taste and Shaping Society with Paloma Picasso and Iwona Blazwick

There has never been a better time than now for women working in art, fashion, and design. But female artists, gallerists, and collectors have always shaped taste, pushed patriarchal boundaries, and challenged orthodoxies, to find ways of expressing themselves and championing the work of others. In this episode, originally recorded as a live event, Will Gompertz was joined by jewellery designer Paloma Picasso, art critic and 2024 Istanbul Biennale curator Iwona Blazwick, and Sotheby’s Emma Baker for a conversation about the past, present, and future of female creativity, and how women have influenced the art world as we know it today.

Twentieth Century Design with Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore is one of our greatest living actors: an Academy and Emmy award winner, and the first American woman to be awarded top acting prizes at the Cannes, Berlin, and Venice film festivals. She is also an avid collector. In this episode, Julianne joins curator and author Glenn Adamson, curator Dakin Hart, gallerist Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand, and Sotheby’s Florent Jeanniard, for a conversation about 20th Century designers, including Isamu Noguchi and Claude Lalanne, to reflect upon the role design plays in our lives.

Munch with Tracey Emin

Edvard Munch pioneered Expressionism and embraced life’s most painful experiences to create art: his pursuit of emotional truth changed art forever. In 2021, Tracey Emin, who has always been fascinated by the Norwegian master, exhibited 25 of her own works alongside Munch’s oils and watercolours at the Royal Academy. In this episode, Emin sat down with Sotheby’s Simon Shaw to talk about the role of women in Munch’s work and to explore why his paintings still have such a compelling hold on us today.

Surrealism with Celeste and Tim Marlow

In this episode, award-winning singer-songwriter Celeste was joined by Sotheby’s Helena Newman for a conversation about female Surrealists, such as Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington, and the profound impact that their work – and the Surrealism movement more broadly – has had on design and culture over the decades.

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