Ex Christie’s head joins Saffronart as CEO

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Hugo Weihe

Hugo Weihe, former international director of Asian Art at Christie’s, has joined Indian art auction house Saffronart as its chief executive officer. Weihe will oversee Saffronart’s presence in Mumbai, New Delhi, New York and London in order to build a market for Indian art and antiquities globally.

Weihe has been a longstanding advisor and friend to prominent private collectors worldwide. He has appeared as a panellist and moderator for discussions on South Asian Modern and Contemporary art, including conducting interviews with artists and collectors, at various international venues and art fairs. He has a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Zurich, and has authored a book, Die Ware Kunst (Art as Commodity), in 1989.

In the early 1990s, he was the publisher of Artibus Asiae, a scholarly journal in the field of Asian art, based at the Museum Rietberg Zurich, in collaboration with the Arthur Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Weihe was brought on board to Christie’s from Sotheby’s in 1998 to establish the department of Indian and Southeast Asian Art from inception. Under his leadership, Christie’s achieved numerous record breaking prices. In December 2013, following Weihe’s proposal, Christie’s realized its first auction sale in Mumbai.

Saffronart said in a release that Weihe’s appointment is part of a move to establish Saffronart as the pre-eminent market leader across categories not just in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia but with a view towards the Asian markets.

“The focus is now on India and its extraordinary cultural wealth and I am thrilled to be joining Saffronart at this decisive moment in time to expand and grown the market from within,” said Weihe. “There is a huge opportunity in reconnecting with the heritage of the past and looking to the future, while contributing to the appreciation and understanding in the process.”

Minal Vazirani, Saffonart’s co-founder, said: “We are delighted to have Hugo join the Saffronart team to build the market for Indian and Asian art and antiquities. Saffronart is a global company, with deep Indian roots and we are confident that under Hugo’s leadership, Saffronart will be a major player within the Asian markets and beyond.”