On January 8th, it was announced that Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cowan’s Auctions had merged to form Hindman LLC. The union of the two American auction houses will mean a larger presence in the US with firms in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale, St. Louis – which were previously Leslie Hindman Auctioneers locations – Cincinnati, Cleveland and Denver – all of which belonged to Cowan’s Auctions. The formation of Hindman LLC ‘reflects the shared vision of Leslie Hindman and Wes Cowan, the respective founders of each firm,’ according the statement.
For Cowan, the merger ‘shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who knows us [Hindman and Cowan].’ He continued: ‘Leslie and I have known each other for many years […] We decided to partner because we both recognized that the new digital landscape and growing auction customer base provides the best opportunity to realize our vision of creating a national client-centric auction house. This means we are locally available to serve the complete needs of our clients and give them access to international buyers. This is an exciting continuation of our vision but with more resources and thought leadership backing it up.’
‘We’re thrilled to join forces with Cowan’s who shares many of our core values, including our vision for a national client-centric auction house,’ stated Hindman. ‘We’ve both grown by connecting local communities to the global art market and by providing excellent service across all categories, sales channels and price points. And now we can further accelerate our vision through this combined effort.’
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers was founded by Hindman Chicago in 1982 and has expanded over the last 35-plus years to eight locations across the US. In 1997, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers was acquired by Sotheby’s but later reopened under the same name in 2003. In 1995, Cowan founded Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati. While working in a number of areas, Cowan’s has continuously set record prices in American Indian Art, Modern Ceramics, American history, and Fine Art. Both firms were founding partners of Bidsquare, a live, online bidding platform created in 2014. Bringing these auction firms together results in the largest auction firm in the US.
Both Hindman and Cowan will remain involved in Hindman LLC, though. Hindman will serve on the conglomerate’s Board as Co-Chair and Cowan will serve as Vice Chair. Hindman LLC will be led by Thomas Galbraith as CEO. Galbraith has worked alongside the independent firms during the process of merging to oversee the collaboration.
‘Leslie and Wes have a history of making bold moves. They’ve each built companies from the ground up by responding to the needs of clients and taking them along on their journeys to innovate,” said Galbraith. He continued: ‘This next chapter holds that theme as we build new tools and expand our expertise to be as diverse and dedicated as the clients we serve.’