Kimberly Pirtle

Apr 10, 2023

Kimberly is wearing the Jackie Dress.

Kimberly Pirtle, Sotheby’s Associate Vice President of Customer Engagement, shows us around the New York City gallery.

What advice would you give to women looking to start their career in the arts?

Build relationships. The art world is very small and a relationship-driven industry. If you are interested in working in the space, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to a woman in the industry that you admire and want to learn more about.

What motivates you when you need an extra push?

My 11-year-old self motivates me the most. This may sound silly, but I believe that I was the purest, most authentic, and clearheaded version of myself at that age. When I’m having a rough day or am not sure which decision to make, I think about what 11-year-old Kim would want me to do and that is the path I take. This approach has never let me down.

If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

I would be mint green. It’s bold, memorable, yet refined.

What has been the most memorable sale in your career as an auctioneer?

I was honored to be selected as the auctioneer for a new sale Sotheby’s launched in 2023 called “The One”. The sale was the first of its kind as it featured one-of-a-kind works across different categories. A highlight of the sale was a purple Princess Diana ball gown by Victor Edelstein. Princess Diana is one of my style icons so be able to sell a dress she once wore was a dream. It sold for 5x over the high estimate.

Who are the women who inspire you?

Oprah and Gayle King inspire me the most. Both were trailblazing Black women who dominated in industries where black female representation was unheard of prior. This inspires me to continue trailblazing as a Black female auctioneer and personality in the art space. Beyond their career accolades, I am inspired by their unbreakable friendship.

Being an auctioneer requires a level of charisma and public speaking skills, how do you stay confident at the podium?

My secret is just to smile. It may seem simple, but if you remember to smile, charisma naturally flows through and helps you better enunciate.

How would you describe your personal style?

Neutrals & Neons are the corner stones of my personal style. They are also representative of my approach on life. Less is more but if you must do more, do the most.