NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sotheby's (NYSE: BID) is pleased to announce the appointment of Christy MacLear, CEO of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, to expand the Company's advisory business and provide planning services and manage projects for artists, artist estates and foundations. As Vice Chairman of the Fine Arts Division, Christy will also work with Allan Schwartzman to build out Sotheby's advisory services more broadly. Based in New York, Christy will join Sotheby's in January 2017.
"We are extremely pleased with the development of our advisory services business both in terms of impact with new and existing clients as well as for Sotheby's shareholders," said Tad Smith Sotheby's CEO. "Innovation, growth, and service are at the heart of our advisory management team's mission. Expanding into advisory services for artists and artist endowed foundations is an exciting new frontier and we are thrilled that Christy is here to lead such an important initiative for us."
"Christy's important role leading the legacies of Robert Rauschenberg, Philip Johnson and David Whitney is analogous to the long-term relationships that are the focus of the advisory work that we built at Art Agency, Partners and are expanding through Sotheby's," commented Allan Schwartzman, Chairman of Sotheby's Fine Art Division and head of Art Agency, Partners' Advisory services. "She has developed a specialized skill set and fills a void – the role between estate lawyers and gallerists that exists specifically to help living artists to plan, estate trustees to transition, and existing artist foundations to manage programs."
As the inaugural CEO of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Christy MacLear oversaw the development of the strategy and vision, transition of assets, and implementation of all programs in art and scholarship – the creation of a legacy-based philanthropy program and the development of a new artist residency on Rauschenberg's compound on Captiva Island, Florida. Her tenure was recently capped with the 1 December 2016 opening of 'Robert Rauschenberg' at Tate Modern, London, the first major retrospective of the artist since his death in 2008. Christy will continue to advise the Foundation into 2017 through the retrospective's stops at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
"The Rauschenberg Foundation is in great shape; the future tracks are laid, and so I feel it's time to look at helping a broader set of artists," said Christy MacLear. "The market needs professional services that can plan an artist's foundation, when artists are living, based on all assets and assist in that transition of the estate. It can be a costly error not to have an experienced person between your lawyer and your gallery – and having a financial and organizational plan in advance helps optimize an artist's legacy."
Example services that Sotheby's will now provide include strategic planning with living artists considering all assets toward legacy goals; financial and organizational mapping from a studio to a foundation; advisory management during the estate process to transition assets with a long term view of use and value; and defining and launching programs for foundations to maximize their legacy's reach and impact.
A well-respected strategist, Christy MacLear was formerly the Executive Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House, where she also transitioned the estate of David Whitney, and the Director of the Museum Campus in Chicago, where she managed the creation of a lakefront park that surrounds three museums – the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. Christy also consulted with the leadership of the Cleveland Clinic, the nonprofit, academic medical center, and served as an early team member of the Walt Disney Development Corporation's new town, Celebration.
Christy MacLear holds a degree in Urban Design & Architectural History from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Stanford University and on the Board of Directors of the Municipal Arts Society.
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