The Impressionist and Modern Art Market with Elaine Holt

29 May 2020

Elaine Holt, Senior Vice President and International Director of Impressionist & Modern Art Department at Christie's Hong Kong, speaks to us about her career journey and explains how her role influences and assists collectors in their collecting journey. Elaine will be presenting in our upcoming virtual course Navigating the Impressionist and Modern Art Market where she shares insight on today's Impressionist and Modern Art market and reveals the way to 'train the eye' to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of a well-run industry.

Q. When did you start at Christie’s, and how did you end up where you are today as International Director, Impressionist & Modern Art? 

I am a Hong Kong native but studied fine arts in the United States before returning to Hong Kong to take up my first job as a Gallery Manager. Somehow, I never managed to leave the art industry! Along the path, I became a curator on Contemporary Asian Art for an international art gallery, then the Hong Kong Executive Director of a Taiwan-based auction house.  During that last job I met Giovanna Bertazzoni who later offered me a job in the Impressionist & Modern Art department at Christie’s. I, of course, jumped at the opportunity. 

Q. How did you become interested in Impressionist & Modern Art and how do you stay current in your field?

While I was doing my fine arts degree, I was particularly fascinated by Impressionist Art, being the critical departing point from Classical to Contemporary, and seeding the explosive growth of Contemporary art in the years to come. To stay informed, I see, read and talk art… with clients, specialists, professionals in the art community. It is actually the part I enjoy the most.

Q. Could you tell us about how your role influences and assists collectors in their collecting journey?

Some collectors see art as investment, others acquire art to satisfy a passion; most of my clients have both motives in mind.  My role is to be their information provider, industry conduit and sounding board.  I try to identify the best art that appeals to their tastes and aesthetics, and within their budget.  I give opinions and help them form their decisions. To me, matching art with people, helping clients build collections, is a highly satisfying endeavor. 

Q. What is the most exciting consignment you have ever worked on?

The most exciting consignment is always the next one. As an art industry professional, I always look forward to the next opportunity… there is always an exciting work waiting to be discovered. 


Q. What can participants expect to learn from Navigating the Impressionist and Modern Art Market?

They will gain fresh perspectives, elevating and refining their understanding of the Impressionist and Modern art market. When they complete the course, they will appreciate the beauty and the intricacy of a well-run industry even more, now with a trained eye.

Join Elaine Holt on 1-3 June on Navigating the Impressionist and Modern Art Market