Hannah O’Leary is the head of Modern and contemporary African art at Sotheby’s. Having started her career at Sotheby’s in Ireland and Australia, she joined Bonhams in 2006 where she helped pioneer the first international auctions of South African art and Modern and cntemporary African art, becoming Head of Department in 2010. With over 10 years’ experience in this field, she returned to Sotheby’s in early 2016, whose first auction in this category took place in London on 16 May 2017.
O’Leary has acted as an international consultant to the South African National Gallery and was a contributing author to the Irma Stern retrospective catalogue “Brushing Up on Stern” (Cape Town, 2015). She recently lectured on the market for contemporary African art at JP Morgan’s European headquarters, the Sotheby’s Institute, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Milan, and the Venice Biennale.
She holds an M.A. in History of Art with Cultural Anthropology from Glasgow University.