The winner of the 2009 Spear’s Art Advisory award, Helen Macintyre is regarded as one of the best-connected, most discreet, and respected art consultants in Europe. She combines her expert knowledge of the global art market – especially Old Masters and Orientalist art – with an acute eye for sourcing the very best works, along with savvy insider knowledge honed at Christie’s where she worked as a senior member of the VIP advisory team.
The daughter of an art dealer and restorer, Macintyre, 36, completed an MA in art history from Edinburgh before going to Old Masters specialist Hall & Knight in Duke Street. Recognised for her personal skill when
dealing with ultra-wealthy international clients, Helen – who is half Dutch – moved over to Christie’s when Hall & Knight were acquired by Christie’s and quickly established herself as a leading force at the auction house as well as setting up a collectors’ club for younger investors.
In 2007, Helen left the auction house to set her own art consultancy business in St James’s and made a well-timed bid for the private market in the Middle East, taking an exhibition of 40 paintings and sculptures to Doha. The selected works included Orientalists Rudolph Ernst and John Singer Sargent, along with a Picasso and a Tissot, with a total value of $50 million. Macintyre has always guided her clients towards established artists, using her natural eye and connections to give clients what they are looking for but invariably cannot find without her help.
As a result of her success and reputation in the Middle-East, Macintyre is now regarded and trusted as the ultimate art insider serving as art advisor to various important families across the Gulf region, both for their private collections and for large-scale public projects, including a number of museums.
In a culture where pharaonic sums of money are still regularly spent by museums and collectors on acquiring only the very best works, it is her skills of diplomacy and discretion (not to mention her contacts) that have made her so sought after. Although Helen is a well-known figure at the world’s leading art fairs – especially Maastricht – her reputation has been forged on her unique ability to obtain the best works before they even reach the fairs and auction houses.
In London, Macintyre Art Advisory is equally well-connected and counts private banks, large City firms, and a host of UHNWs as clients, for whom she can source anything from Old Masters to Post-War, Modern and Contemporary. She advises not just on the purchase of works of art but on all aspects of collection management, including restoration and insurance. Macintyre sums up her business as ‘a multi-family office – just for art’.