Simon de Pury

Simon de Pury
Photo by Jared Siskin/amfAR/Getty Images

Simon de Pury is one of the leading figures in the art market. He is renowned for his deep and long-standing knowledge of the global marketplace and for his legendary performances on the auction podium.

At the beginning of 2013, Simon and his wife Michaela founded de Pury de Pury, a company specializing in building collections, consulting established collectors and institutions, and facilitating private transactions of Impressionist, Modern, Postwar, and Contemporary Art. Additionally, Simon and Michaela conceive and curate exhibitions and are active in the branding of artistic, cultural, and real estate projects, as well as supporting and advising artists.

In 2015, together with Arnaud Massenet, co-founder of Net-A-Porter, and Michaela de Pury, Simon founded, an online platform for contemporary culture and auctions of contemporary art. In 2016, de Pury published his memoir, The Auctioneer, in U.S., UK, Spanish, and French editions, followed by a Chinese edition in 2017.

From 2000 to 2012, he was Chairman and Chief Auctioneer of Phillips de Pury & Company. Earlier in his career, he was Chairman, Europe, and Chief Auctioneer Worldwide at Sotheby’s. He was also curator of the Thyssen–Bornemisza Collection, the world’s largest private collection at the time, which today is housed in its own museum in Madrid.

Simon has been instrumental in championing the careers of many contemporary artists, photographers, and designers. He has secured a substantial number of the most legendary art collections for auction and private treaty.

In 2010, he was the subject of an hour-long BBC documentary titled The Man with the Golden Gavel. In 2010 and 2011, he was the mentor in Bravo’s reality TV show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Simon is an active charity auctioneer, and over the years has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for a number of charities and cultural institutions. Examples include amfAR, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, Fondation Beyeler, Human Rights Watch, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and many others.