“At Dickinson, I felt constantly supported and was encouraged to follow my passion for the arts in whatever direction it led me.”
—Kimberly Drexler ’15
Kimberly Drexler ’15 recently left the world of corporate law to work in the art world, where she is now assistant vice president of business development in Sotheby’s fiduciary client group. With a law degree from NYU in hand, she works with collectors and their advisors to provide valuations, collection management services and sales strategies for the disposition of art and other luxury goods held in an estate or trust.
Tell us a little about your career.
The property I deal with is typically fine art (think Warhol, O’Keeffe, Monet, etc.), although we also often work with collections that contain jewelry, decorative arts and other luxury goods. Whereas other departments at Sotheby’s work directly with collectors, our clients are those collectors’ lawyers, bankers, family offices or other fiduciaries. Prior to joining Sotheby’s, I practiced corporate law at two international law firms in New York City, specifically representing clients in mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property transactions. I went to law school with the goal of pursuing art law, but I quickly realized while practicing that I enjoyed the business side of things much more than the law itself.
What was your Dickinson experience like?
I majored in art & art history and French and loved every minute of my Dickinson experience. I worked at both the Trout Gallery and the Visual Resources Center, was a writing assistant for the Modern Art class and curated an exhibition with my fellow majors. By the spring of my senior year, I’m sure that Professor Lee and Professor Schlitt were quite sick of me! I was also able to continue my studies while spending my entire junior year abroad in Toulouse via the Dickinson in France program. Taking art history classes taught in French at the local university was an experience I will never forget! At Dickinson, I felt constantly supported and was encouraged to follow my passion for the arts in whatever direction it led me.
How did Dickinson help prepare you for where you are today?
I didn’t take a single law-related class while at Dickinson, so before starting law school at NYU I was quite worried that I would not be prepared. What I found, however, was that while the substance of my law school classes was all new, I was very much used to reading and writing at a rigorous level thanks to my time at Dickinson. I have also found that my liberal-arts background has equipped me with the tools to quickly learn new skills and subjects as my career has progressed. I may not have made the pivot from the practice of law to business development were I not confident in my strong art historical background and ability to adapt to new situations, both of which I developed while at Dickinson.
Published July 26, 2022