As Deputy Chairman and previous head of our American Paintings Department, Eric Widing has worked at Christie’s for over twenty years. His interest in art started early, when at the age of eleven he purchased his first art book, an exhibition catalogue of the paintings of Andrew Wyeth. Prior to joining Christie’s, Mr. Widing worked for seventeen years as a dealer in American Art, including eleven years as the director of the Richard York Gallery. Subsequently he established his own gallery, Widing & Peck Fine Art, on East 66th Street. His gallery represented the estate of George Bellows and handled important American art from 1750 to 1950. In all, Mr. Widing has devoted 38 years to the American art business.
Mr. Widing’s responsibilities as Deputy Chairman focus primarily on the American Paintings Department. Additionally, he works closely with colleagues across Christie’s many business categories.
During his tenure, Christie's American Paintings became a market leader in the field, establishing new world records for hundreds of artists in virtually every category of American art. In 2018, among major collections managed by Mr. Widing and the Christie’s team was the Collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller, which achieved $114,000,000 for its American art alone – a record immediately succeeded by the sale of American art from the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, which achieved $323,103,500. Among the Ebsworth highlights was Hopper’s Chop Suey, which sold for $91,875,000, becoming the most expensive pre-war American artwork ever sold at auction. Private sales also continue to play a major role in American art at Christie’s, encompassing both the sale of individual artworks and entire collections, often led by Mr. Widing. Perhaps most notably, he was one of the team of two which sold Thomas Eakins’ The Gross Clinic in 2006 for $68,000,000, the highest private sale price ever achieved for a work of art in his field.
A recognized authority on American painting and sculpture, Mr. Widing has been quoted in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Antiques and the Arts Weekly, Art + Auction, Architectural Digest, Town & Country, The Art Newsletter, The Maine Antiques Digest, The Huffington Post and numerous other newspapers and magazines. Mr. Widing has been interviewed by National Public Radio and has appeared on Bloomberg TV. He continues to be a frequent source of information on the American field. Mr. Widing has also lectured widely at museums across the country and on occasion to university students. He is a graduate of Williams College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Karl E. Weston prize for his senior thesis in Art History.
Vice President, Head of American Art
Tylee Abbott serves as Vice President and Head of the American Art department. In addition to overseeing the department, he assists clients with all aspects of art collecting, from acquisition and sales to appraisals.
With a particular affinity for Western American Art, Tylee has played key roles in Christie’s marquee single owner auctions The Legend of the West: Iconic Works from the T. Boone Pickens Collection and Visions of the West: American Paintings from the William I. Koch Collection. Notable auction results within these collections include Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, N.C. Wyeth among others. Tylee has also contributed meaningfully to noteworthy results for artists ranging from Alfred Jacob Miller to Victor Higgins and Rebecca Salsbury James.
Prior to joining Christie’s, Tylee held roles across the art world, including with another major New York auction company, as an independent art advisor, and at private galleries. He has also authored over 50 articles on the American and Western American Art markets. Tylee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Business from Franklin & Marshall College and a Masters in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art – London.
Vice President, Specialist
Paige Kestenman, a Specialist in Christie’s American Art department, is responsible for sourcing and sale curation for the American Art auctions in New York. Paige regularly provides clients with market updates, valuations and proposals for sale, and she works with a wide array of collectors on both auction and private sale acquisitions.
Since joining Christie’s in 2013, Paige has worked on several important consignments by American Modernist masters, including the world-record Abstraction by Marsden Hartley ($6.7 million), Edward Hopper’s Windy Day ($1.2 million) and Norman Lewis’s Street Scene (a record for a figurative work by the artist at $440,000). Other notable auction sales include Boston School Impressionist Frank Weston Benson’s The Reader ($2.9 million), iconic illustrator Norman Rockwell’s The Christmas Coach ($1 million) and Hudson River School painter Sanford Robinson Gifford’s Mansfield Nose ($519,000). Paige has also assisted clients with private treaty transactions for artists ranging from Rockwell, Milton Avery, Jacob Lawrence and Andrew Wyeth to John Singer Sargent and George Inness.
Paige earned her Masters in History of Art and Art World Practice: Art, Style and Design with Distinction from Christie’s Education London. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University with High Honors and is a member of the Sigma Xi Research Society and Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Quincie joined the Christie’s American Art department in 2018. As a Junior Specialist, she is responsible for cataloging, researching and coordinating expertise for the paintings, works on paper and sculpture in the American Art auctions and private sales. She is also actively involved with sourcing, appraising and working with clients on consignments to both sale channels. During her more than six years in the art and auction field, including over five years in American Art, Quincie has been involved with major sales of works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery and Thomas Hart Benton and has experience working with both private and institutional clients. Quincie graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and coursework in Marketing.