Nigel Russell Joins Heritage Auctions as Director of Photographs, NY

Heritage Auctions has announced that auction industry veteran Nigel Russell has joined the company as its new Director of Photographs, New York, effective immediately. Nigel will be based out of Heritage’s New York offices at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street).

“Nigel is a tremendous talent and we’re quite happy to have him on-board,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “He brings a wealth of experience to the job and an encyclopedic knowledge of photography. We’re excited about working with him to expand the reach of our Photography auctions.”

“Heritage is a growing and dynamic company,” said Russell. “The chance to join the company’s impressive rosters is one that I am happy to have. I look forward to helping the department, and the company, continue to grow.”

Russell was educated at Vassar College and the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he studied Photographic Science and Engineering. He started his career in 1979 at Sotheby’s London cataloguing antique cameras and scientific instruments and instituted Sotheby’s first auctions devoted solely to cameras, photographic viewers and optical toys. In 1981 he transferred to Sotheby’s New York as Assistant Departmental Director of the Collectibles Department and was responsible for the auction of the Dobran Collection of Photographica, the first sale of its kind in America.

After leaving Sotheby’s Russell became the curator of the Spira Collection, New York, a private collection of approximately 20,000 items relating to the history of photography. He remained there until 1999, then working at Swann Auction Galleries as the Photographs & Camera Specialist. Subsequent to Swann’s, Russell was back at Sotheby’s as the Director of the Photographs Department for Sothebys.com and at Christie’s New York as a Photographs Specialist. He also consulted on antique and collectible cameras for Adorama, New York and WestLicht Photographica Auctions, Vienna. 

From November 2005 to March 2006, Nigel was a photography consultant for the National Counsel for Culture, Art & Heritage, Doha, Qatar and worked as Photography Curator for the Qatar Museums Authority from November 2006 until March 2013.

Nigel is a major contributor to "The History of Photography As Seen Through The Spira Collection," published by Aperture in the fall of 2001 and co-author of "Spirit Capture: Photographs from the National Museum of the American Indian," published by the Smithsonian in the fall of 1998 as well as a contributor to various photography magazines. 

He was a member of the advisory committee of the Technology Department of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House and has also lectured on the Photography Auction Market and Collecting Photographica.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of approximately $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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