Published: March 17, 2016
NEW YORK CITY — Jason T. Busch, deputy director for curatorial affairs and museum programs at the Saint Louis Art Museum, is among three new hires at Sotheby’s, having recently accepted the position of vice president, division director of decorative arts in New York. “I am both honored and thrilled by the opportunity to work with colleagues at Sotheby’s,” said Busch. “My move from the Saint Louis Art Museum is bittersweet, as I feel privileged having contributed to the strategic plan and recruitment of staff for one of America’s leading encyclopedic art museums.”
Busch begins his new role at Sotheby’s on April 4, just ahead of the firm’s European decorative arts sales. “It’s really exciting, marking a new chapter in decorative arts,” he told Antiques and The Arts Weekly while still in St Louis. The fact that Busch’s hire is one of several in the decorative arts category presages such a shift, which is to think more broadly about collections that span across America and Europe, Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries, and areas of interest ranging from antiquities, Oceanic and African art to silver, objets de vertu, Americana, porcelain and ceramics.
Busch joined the Saint Louis Art museum in October 2013 and served there for two and a half years. Previously he served as chief curator and the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman curator of decorative arts and design at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, 2006–2013. He directed the 2009 renovation and reinstallation of the Carnegie Museum’s storied Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries, including American and European decorative arts, Modernist design and contemporary craft. Prior to that he was assistant curator of architecture, design, decorative arts, craft and sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, as well as assistant curator of American decorative arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.
Busch is a 1998 graduate of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture with a master of arts degree. He received his bachelor of arts degree in American studies from Miami University.
In addition to Busch, David Walker, most recently head of fine English and Continental furniture, silver and decorative arts at Freeman’s, joined Sotheby’s late last year as vice president, head of Nineteenth Century furniture.
Walker began his career as a teenager, when he worked at a local antiques shop and auctioneers in his home county of Bedfordshire, England. He joined Bonham’s in 2005 and developed his cataloging, research and business development skills, and gained experience of the London and European art markets. In 2010, Walker moved to Freeman’s, where he was responsible for the record-setting, 274-lot “white-glove” auction of the selected contents of Vaux Hill: the collection of Robert and Barbara Safford. Walker graduated with a BA in the history of art from University College London, is a member of the Furniture History Society and the New York Silver Society.
Dennis Harrington, currently associate director of Pelham Galleries Ltd, will be joining Sotheby’s at the end of March as vice president, senior specialist, English and Continental furniture. On March 8, Sotheby’s hosted a sale of furniture and works of art from the public and private collections of Alan Rubin and Pelham Galleries, which, according to Rubin, marked “a new chapter” for the business now to be run from its Paris gallery.
At Pelham Galleries, both in Paris and London, beginning in 2003, Harrington had full responsibility in all operations for antique furniture and decorative arts company, including buying and selling stock, client relations, research and cataloging, press and publicity, transport and photography, designing, building and managing stands at art fairs. Prior to his position at Pelham Galleries, Harrington served as assistant curator at the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, and lectured on Nineteenth and Twentieth Century art and design to Oxford University exchange students.
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