August Uribe made headlines in November when he became the latest Sotheby’s employee embroiled in the onslaught of leadership changes occurring under Patrick Drahi’s management.
August Uribe, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in politics and Latin American studies from Princeton University, joined Sotheby’s in 1991 as assistant Vice President of the Latin American Art department in New York, where he made an early success of himself, selling José María Velasco’s Valle de Mexico for $2,420,000 – the first Latin American painting to break the $2 million mark.
He assumed various key roles within Sotheby’s over his 22-year tenure, such as head of the fine arts department’s West Coast operations and Senior Specialist of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sales team. He has remained an advocate for Latin American culture, giving lectures and participating in round tables, and, following a brief stint as Worldwide Co-Head of Contemporary Art at Phillips from 2014-2017, he returned to Sotheby’s as Vice Chairman overseeing the Americas.
Uribe’s dismissal from Sotheby’s in late November, at which point he held the title of Vice Chairman of the New York Fine Arts Division, would have been unprecedented just a few months ago. This departure of one of the auction house’s longest serving employees and a prominent figure within the auctioning world serves to underscore the drastic changes being made to the auction house’s structure by its new owner.