Alexander Montague-Sparey
Director of Montague-Sparey, Fair Director of Photo Shanghai


As the Director of Montague- Sparey, Alexander places iconic vintage and contemporary works of art by market leading photographers, as well as emerging photographers with investment potential, into some of the most important private and institutional collections in Europe, the US and Asia. He also works with collectors on building photography collections from scratch.

Alexander is also the Fair Director of Photo Shanghai. In this role, he is responsible from the overall strategy of the fair in building its foundations and ensuring the success of the first photography-dedicated art fair in the region.

Before working independently, Alexander was the youngest Director in the history of Christie’s. He placed the Photographs department in London in lead position under his direction in May 2013. During his tenure, he was noted for achieving several world auction records and for creating new auction markets from contemporary photography. Prior to this, he was the curator of the photography, contemporary art and design Selling Exhibitions programme at Phillips. The included the contemporary art and sculpture Summer exhibitions at Sudeley Castle (in association with Chanel), as well as shows for Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Guy Bourdin and Zaha Hadid, among many others.

A native French speaker born in Geneva, he holds a Masters degree in the History of Art from the University of Oxford. He has been interviewed by several major publications including The FT, The Wall Street Journal, The Art Newspaper, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar on the subject of collecting, the art market and photography.

July 25, 2014

Art is important in my life, because… It takes the edge off the everyday

Art goes best with… A beautiful interior (ideally a Georgian townhouse with mid-Century design furniture), filled with extroverts

Three words that best describe art according to you... Dedication, memory, elegance

An art exhibition you have enjoyed recently... Mapplethorpe at the Grand Palais was very good

Best city to go to for art... I would have to say New York, though that is changing

Your favorite museum in the world... The Pergamon – on Museum island in Berlin. It houses an archaeological relic called the Pergamon Altar, originally from Turkey – so it is basically an ancient building within a modern building (designed by Alfred Messel in the 30s). The scale and feeling of displacement are totally overwhelming. It’s genius.

An artist (dead or alive) you would like to have lunch with... Lunch with the Surrealists would have been fun; though if I had to pick one of them it would have to have been de Chirico.

The artwork you’d like to have hanging in your living room... The Mona Lisa – simply so that visitors to the Louvre would be forced to look at the 100s of other gems that are housed there.

Chinese contemporary art for you is… Yang Fudong is one to keep an eye on.

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