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Meet Hadley Powell of Powell Fine Art Advisory in Brookline

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hadley Powell.

Hadley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my career at Christie’s auction house in New York City. Christie’s has a master’s program called Christie’s Education and after graduation, I joined the Prints and Multiples department where I cataloged 700 lot sales ranging from old master etchings to contemporary screen prints. It was a great education in understanding the object and started my love affair with works on paper. I moved into the Impressionist and Modern art department at Christie’s and worked on the Evening sale. In the Impressionist and Modern art department, I handled artwork by artists such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miro. It was surreal to spend time with artworks that I had studied from slides in school. While I was at Christie’s, we sold the then most expensive painting at the time, Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, for $106.5M and I worked on the proposal for the Rockefeller Collection, which now eight years later, is coming up for auction in May.

Watching how technology was transforming so many different industries, I was curious to see how it would disrupt the auction industry, so I moved to Boston to work as a Product Manager at Invaluable, the online auction and gallery marketplace. At Invaluable, I learned an entirely new vocabulary and saw how buying activities radically changed and more people turned to their mobile devices to discover and buy items online.

But, I really missed working with clients and the artwork, so I started advising a couple clients and thought about how I could potentially transition to advising full time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Entrepreneurship is never smooth! While I intentionally was very careful about how I started my business, there are always those panic moments in the middle of the night when you question yourself, your decisions and your next steps. This is all part of the process though. It is so important to take time to reflect on what is working and what isn’t working, in order to grow as a person and business.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Powell Fine Art Advisory – what should we know?Powell Fine Art Advisory is a full service art advisory firm. This means that we help our clients buy, sell and manage their artwork. Some of our clients are established collectors while some are just starting out and looking for that first perfect piece for their living room.

I love working with clients across all different interests, styles and budgets. Buying artwork can be intimidating and opaque. My clients appreciate the work I do because I help make the buying process easy for them.

I enjoy advocating for living contemporary artists and Boston based galleries and schools. Two of my favorite places to buy artwork are at the MassArt Auction in April and the SMFA at Tufts Art Sale in November. You can find incredible art and the proceeds go to financial aid.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I’m a rigorous goal setter. I love reviewing my goals quarterly and seeing where I am and asking myself what is working and where do I need to focus. I also prioritize networking and connecting with people in my industry. It is a joy to get to know artists, museum curators and gallerists who are equally as passionate about the arts as I am.

I also have great mentors and support. A classmate and friend from Christie’s Education, Corinne Acampora planted the seed over dinner a couple of years ago. She is an interior designer in Wellesley and asked if I could help her on a couple of projects. Without her support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have felt like I could make the leap.

My husband is my biggest advocate. Although, he is incredibly busy with his own career, he is hugely invested in helping out when he can. We are constantly thinking about the business and I feel so grateful to have a partner to bounce ideas off of.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Allie Powell

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