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Hannah O'Leary

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Hannah O'Leary

Senior Vice President, Head of Modern and Contemporary African Art, Sotheby's
Hannah O'Leary

Hannah O’Leary is a senior director at Sotheby’s auction house in London, where she established the Modern & Contemporary African Art department in 2016. She has led this market since 2006 when she helped pioneer the first international auctions of Modern & Contemporary African Art at Bonhams. She has overseen the highest-grossing auctions of Contemporary African Art ever held and has set over 200 world record prices for African artists. Since joining Sotheby’s they have consistently dominated the market, holding the record prices for all the top-selling artists from the continent, including Marlene Dumas ($6.3million), Julie Mehretu ($5.6million), Lisa Brice ($3,166,000), Njideka Akunyili Crosby ($3.4million), Michael Armitage ($1.5million), and William Kentridge ($1.5million). Hannah advises private collectors and public institutions alike. In 2022 she raised $2.5million for institutions supporting African artists including the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Lagos; Norval Foundation, Cape Town; The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York; and Brandywine Workshop and Archives (BWA), Philadelphia. She has facilitated many private sales and exhibition loans worldwide, has written for various publications and lectured at events and institutions internationally. She is a Trustee of the Norval Foundation in South Africa and a Council Member of the Royal African Society in the UK.