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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams Appoints Mark Fraser as Chairman of Australian Operation

Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to Bonhams. His academic track record and high standing in the art world make this a very important appointment for us. I have no doubt that he will help us build on the promising start we have made in Australia.”

Mark Fraser commented: “I’m very pleased to be offered this exciting opportunity. I have always admired the drive, ambition and auction house expertise of Robert Brooks and his Bonhams team. My goal is to help make Bonhams Australia the number one choice in this part of the world.”

Born in London in 1962 Mark completed his education with a History degree (1981-84) at Pembroke College Cambridge. He then worked for a year as a researcher at the Public Records Office in Kew, and co-authored a book, ‘Ashanti’, on the British in Africa and the bloodless war with the tribe which provided the name of the book.

In 1984 he joined Christie’s Numismatics Department in King Street, London, as a specialist in coins and medals, an interest he’d pursued since the age of 11, turning a childhood passion into a professional life. Three years later he moved to Australia where he quickly found himself a job with Christie’s Australia, this time pursuing another interest, Decorative Arts.

In 1988 he joined Sotheby’s Decorative Arts Department in Melbourne and two years later was appointed Director of Valuations. Adding another string to his bow he took on Paintings at Sotheby’s and by 1994 was Head of the Paintings Department which he ran until 2001.

Appointed Acting MD Sotheby’s Australia in 2001 he became Managing Director shortly afterwards and worked in this capacity till 2007, building the local team up to a strength of 30 and expanding the business considerably.

In 2007, after 19 years at Sotheby’s, Mark left for a non-profit venture, the privately funded Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Australia’s biggest private museum. In his capacity as its inaugural Museum Director, he managed a team of 200 people and worked on the museum design, museum brief, art acquisition and curatorial issues, guiding it through its development stage. It opened in January this year.

Mark, 48, is Melbourne based, has two children and spends what little spare time he gets pursuing his passion for the 18th Century ‘Enlightenment.

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