David Norman began his career in 1985, working as a specialist in the field of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s. He became director of the department in 1999, a World-wide Chairman for the division in 2008, and then a Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s North American.
David directed sales of art works from such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum as well as numerous other public and private foundations. In the early 1990s, David pioneered and directed Sotheby’s first sales of 20th Century German art, staging the first international auction in the then unified city of Berlin. In 2004, David oversaw the auction of the first painting to ever break the $100 million barrier, Pablo Picasso’s Garçon a la Pipe. In 2010, he curated Sotheby’s first private selling exhibition of Modern Art in Hong Kong and Beijing as well as a monographic exhibition for Sotheby’s in New York dedicated to the later works of Georges Braque.
Under his leadership and tenure, Sotheby’s not only sold the first $100 million painting, but also the first sculpture to exceed $100 million (Giacometti’s Walking Man) and the first work on paper to pass that same mark (Edvard Munch’s, The Scream).
As a leading industry expert, David has been frequently quoted in publications such as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Art at Auction magazine. He has appeared on television networks such as CNBC and foreign outlets including CNN Asia, podcasts interviews for the Financial Times, China, and is a frequent contributor of articles to the Art Market Monitor and the Octavian Report. One of the most recognized auction experts in the field of Impressionist & Modern Art and a trusted advisor to private collectors for over 30 years, Mr. Norman launched David Norman Fine Art, llc, to continue to advise and assist individuals and institutions worldwide.
Listed in Art + Auction as amongst the 100 most powerful innovators in the art world, David was distinguished by, “…His long and unparalleled standing in the auction arena (which) buttresses his authority as he advises a fearsomely demanding fraternity of American collectors on both the buying and selling end.” (December 2015 issue, p. 88)