Nigel Freeman to head Fine Art at Swann

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nigel Freeman to head Fine Art at Swann
Nigel Freeman joined the house in 1997 and established the African American Art department in 2006.

NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries announced on Tuesday an imminent reorganization of their fine art offerings under the leadership of Nigel Freeman. This change comes with the news of the retirement of Swann’s longtime Prints & Drawings Director, Todd Weyman. Additional organizational changes at Swann include a role change for Lisa Crescenzo, who will become Managing Director of Fine Art, as well as new sales leadership roles for specialists Sarah McMillan and Meagan Gandolfo, who will be handling Old Master Through Modern Prints and 19th & 20th Century Art, and American and Contemporary Art, respectively.

Swann, originally established as a book house in 1941, has grown in their 83-year history to become the premier auction house for works on paper. For over 30 years of this legacy, Swann has been holding regular fine art sales. “This marks one of the most significant changes at Swann in a generation,” noted Swann President Nicholas D. Lowry. “For the first time in our company's history, all of our art departments will be united under one director. This transition, while significant, is a natural and virtually seamless continuation of our legacy. We are promoting dedicated staff members from within to assist in organizing, cataloguing, and running auctions, a practice that continues to make Swann such a unique and special place.”

The new fine art department structure, run by long-time Swann employees, will bring their intimate knowledge and expertise of the market to clients. The joint efforts led by Freeman will ensure consignors and buyers continue to receive the personal care they are accustomed to at Swann while the house evolves to meet the expanding needs of the ever-changing art market landscape.

Nigel Freeman joined the house in 1997 and established the African American Art department in 2006, making Swann the first auction house to have a specialized department focusing solely on artwork by Black American artists. In his new position, Freeman will continue as director of African American Art, assume the mantle of director of Swann’s Contemporary Art sales, and provide guidance and oversight for the other art auctions.

Freeman expressed his enthusiasm for the change, stating, "I am thrilled to be leading Swann Galleries’ fine art departments into a new era. Swann has always been a hub for the passionate collector, curator, and dealer to connect with our equally passionate specialists. Our African American Art department was founded on the principle of elevating the value of many great but undervalued or underrepresented artists. We introduced them to the auction market, confident that a knowledgeable market would appreciate the opportunity. It quickly evolved into an entirely new auction market. Our new team is deeply committed to bringing this same philosophy to all our departments, diversifying our sales, and engaging with new audiences, a commitment that we believe is crucial for the future of the art industry."

Of the changes, Lisa Crescenzo added, “I am excited to take on this newly established role to work closer with our consignors and explore new business strategies for future consignments to showcase different artists, genres, or artistic periods to our bidders.” Crescenzo joined Swann in 2014 in the Prints & Drawings department and, for the past 10 years, has served the department in various capacities, including most recently as Department Manager. Crescenzo has been integral in bringing private and corporate collections to auction, including the Virginia Zabriskie collection in 2021 and the Will Barnet Estate in 2023.

The restructuring will see Harold Porcher, Skye Lacerte, and Corey Serrant folded into the department while continuing to hold their current roles. Porcher is the director of Modern & Post-War Art, which Swann expanded into in 2020. In 2023, Lacerte joined Swann as the specialist for Illustration Art, and Serrant stepped in as associate director of LGBTQ+ Art, Material Culture & History, and specialist for African American Art.

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