Warren P. Weitman, Jr
Warren joined Sotheby’s in September of 1978 to work directly with the professional community of bankers and lawyers by developing close relationships with fiduciaries in respect to art and jewelry appraisals and estate collection sales. He started the Trust and Estates department through which sale and marketing plans were organized and implemented for major collectors, collections, and institutions, and in 1980, he created Sotheby’s Appraisal Company.
In the mid-eighties, he was appointed the Director of Business Development worldwide and directed Sotheby’s regional network in the Americas. He became Chairman of the Americas in 2000.
Several of the major collections and individual record-setting works were sold at Sotheby’s with his guidance, including the world-record painting, Van Gogh’s Irises, in 1987 for $53.4 million from the Collection of Joan Whitney Payson; the first ever work sold at auction for more than $100 million, Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe on behalf of the Greentree Foundation in 2004 (Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney); the world-record for an antiquity, the Guennol Lioness, sold for $57.1 million in 2007; and the world-record for American Art, Rockwell’s Saying Grace, which sold for $46.1 million in 2013.
Mitchell’s background in the industry started in 1974 when he was assigned to the Sotheby’s account by the law firm he joined after graduating from law school. He became Sotheby’s US General Counsel in 1979. He moved on to other management assignments in 1984 and structured, negotiated, and closed many of Sotheby’s major transactions since he joined the firm.
As the creator of Sotheby’s Financial Services in 1988, he established Sotheby’s secured lending business and closed several billion dollars in art loans in jurisdictions around the world.
Since 1995 he managed Sotheby’s guarantee business globally. In that capacity he created risk sharing devices such as the irrevocable bid, and he innovated merchant banking services for art dealers and collectors who discover purchase opportunities but lack sufficient liquidity to take advantage of them.