Brooke Lampley leaves Sotheby’s to join Gagosian in latest high-profile auction departure

Brooke Lampley, a longtime fixture at Sotheby’s contemporary and modern sales, will leave the auction house at the end of the month to join Gagosian as a senior director later this year. She will continue to be based in New York, the gallery said in a statement.

At Sotheby’s, Lampley was most recently the global chairman and head of global fine art. In her role, she oversaw specialists in categories including contemporary and modern art and photography. According to Gagosian, she helped secure high-profile consignments and drove record results for both auctions and the house’s private sales division. In 2021, Sotheby’s global fine arts team reached $7.4bn in total sales under her leadership, a record for the company. Before joining Sotheby’s six years ago, she led Christie’s Impressionist and modern team.

According to Sotheby’s, Lampley was “instrumental” in Sotheby’s securing the Emily Fisher Landau collection, last year’s most valuable consignment of the season, which brought in $351.6m ($406.4m with fees), a record for a female collector at auction. Lampley was also part of the team that brought Linda and Harry Macklowe’s collection to market, which fetched $922.2m with fees and broke the record for the most valuable art collection to sell at auction (until six months later, when Paul Allen’s sold at Christie’s for $1.5bn).

“After 20 years of auctions, I am excited to experience another side of the art world, and to learn from the very best,” Lampley said in a statement. “My love of art is what drives me, and I am looking forward to getting closer to artists and thinking deeply about the evolution of a body of work.”

Lampley is the latest high-profile auction leader to leave one of the houses, though most others have opted to go into private art-advisory roles over commercial galleries. Christie’s announced in October that global president Jussi Pylkkänen would step down in 2024 to pursue independent art advising. In 2021, Sotheby’s then-global head of fine art Amy Cappellazzo announced she would step down, and later joined up with Yuki Terase, also an ex-Sotheby’s rainmaker, to form the advisory Art Intelligence Global.