Christie’s Communications Head Deirdrea Miller Departs After Just Over Two Years

Deirdrea Miller, the senior vice president and head of communications for Christie’s Americas division, has left the auction house.

Miller joined Christie’s just two years ago, in 2021, and helped the house facilitate its historic Paul Allen auction and the sale of a 1964 Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe, which in 2022 became the most expensive artwork by a 20th century artist ever auctioned.

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While there was no official announcement of her departure, a short profile of Miller published on Thursday by Axios referred to her as being “formerly of Christie’s Americas.” 

She was one of just two Black executives at the auction house, and the only one with a public-facing position. Miller, who was based in New York, worked under Christie’s Americas president Bonnie Brennan.

The other Black executive is Natasha Moore, who is based in London and works as the auction house’s global head of talent and equity, diversity, and inclusion, according to LinkedIn.

A spokesperson for Christie’s confirmed Miller’s departure, saying, “We wish her all the best.” The spokesperson declined to comment further on the reasons she is no longer with the company, which employs fewer than 2,000 people.

In a statement to ARTnews, Miller said, “I’m proud of my work at Christie’s and the unprecedented publicity we achieved for its major sales in New York. It’s been a privilege to be able to pursue my passion for the arts and reach new audiences through storytelling.”

Miller’s departure is a blow to the auction house, which in recent years has been pushing for an increase in diversity among its ranks.

In 2022, Christie’s changed its summer internship program, which had previously only been available to those with internal references. Under the new structure, any US-based rising junior or senior college student could be come an intern, a move that the house said was intended to bring about a more diverse staff. And at a dinner that followed the press preview for the Spring 2022 sales at Christie’s, chief executive Guillaume Cerutti spoke proudly about the “dynamic women leading the auction house’s departments and its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,” something he said was not a priority for Christie’s in the past. “Christie’s is committed to fostering a diverse, respectful, and inclusive culture,” a spokesperson told ARTnews, “We continue to put in the important work to live up to these values.”

Before joining Christie’s, Miller was director of the PR firm Brunswick Arts, where she worked with institutions like Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Before that, she served as deputy communications director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and oversaw 24 city agencies that dealt with both the arts and entertainment industries and cultural affairs and advised the mayor’s office on the construction of monuments to women, people of color, and representatives of the LGTBQ community. In November 2021 she replaced Erin McAndrew, who had worked at Christie’s since 2008.

Source: artnews.com

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