Heritage Auctions has announced that Kathleen Guzman has been appointed as Managing Director of the company’s recently opened Manhattan office, located at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street) , where she will oversee day-to-day operations.
“Kathleen is one of the best known auction professionals in the business,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “When it came time to find someone to run our New York offices, Kathleen was one of the first people we discussed. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to have her on board.”
With more than 30 years of experience, Guzman is perhaps most recognizable from her appearances over the past 15 years as an expert on PBS’ popular “Antiques Roadshow.” In 1978 she became the second licensed female auctioneer in the United States and has, since that time, personally conducted more than 1,500 auctions with objects valued in excess of $500,000,000, accumulating 15 years of experience at world-renowned international auction house Christie’s, selling such items as a Monet watercolor for $4.3 Million and the Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz. She was the former President of Christie’s East and President of Phillips Auctioneers, as well as Senior Vice-President of Business Development at eBay.
Guzman has worked with Heritage in the past, assisting the company with strategy, planning, writing a staff procedures manual and acting as auctioneer in its Fine and Decorative Arts auctions, but her new capacity in New York has helped create brand new exposure for Heritage to what is one of the world’s most important markets, with the distinctly individual customer service that Heritage is known for.
“I have been positively stunned by the response to our New York opening,” said Guzman. “Clients new to Heritage fill out a card for our Mail List system, and I write a personal note to every one of them thanking them for coming in. I want them to feel comfortable coming back, and to know that this business is personal.”
Besides being in the Heritage jewel box space on Park Avenue everyday and being the public face of the new office, one of Guzman’s most surprising, and happy duties concerns the popular Heritage Window on Park Avenue, which displays an ever-rotating grouping of various high-end collectibles and art across Heritage’s 30 categories.
“My first unexpected challenge was to keep the front glass constantly clean from all the finger and nose prints,” said Guzman. “From the moment the scrims came off the front windows, our windows became an instant attraction. Onlookers glue themselves to our offerings in stereotypical fashion, ogling the amazing offerings.”
Guzman is a frequent source for major media outlets, having been quoted in print, radio and television regarding the art and antiques market, and appearing on shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, Today, and CNN. She appeared as an on-air host for Good Life TV, has appeared on QVC, among many appearances, and co-starred for the pilot TV show For What It’s Worth with Robin Leach. She is a contributing editor to the Miller’s Antique Collector’s Books, has been the Director of Hubert Gallery, specializing in Matisse and Picasso, for the past two years, and is also an independent consultant, a USPAP certified art appraiser, writer and charity auctioneer.
The first auction to take place under the auspices of Heritage Auctions New York City, which Kathleen presided over, was the company’s Oct. 16 Signature® Illustration Art Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (The Ukrainian Institute), 2 East 79th Street, which realized $3.75 million in the company’s second-highest grossing illustration art auction to date. Heritage New York has a block of five auctions scheduled for New York in early December in its Lalique, Pre-Colombian, American Indian art, Fine and Vintage Photography and fine Timepieces categories.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.