The decision by Sotheby’s Canada in February this year to get out of the live and online auction business seems to have been the signal for a larger overhaul of the country’s resale art market. The latest ramification came Wednesday with Toronto-based Waddington’s announcing that it’s “retiring” its Joyner division for sales of “important Canadian art” and hiring former Sotheby’s Canada vice-president/ managing director Linda Rodeck as vice-president of a restructured division, Waddington’s Fine Art, with direct responsibility for Canadian art under the moniker Waddington’s Canadian Fine Art.
Veteran auctioneer Geoffrey Joyner, who merged his eponymous company with Waddington’s in July 2002 to create Joyner Waddington’s Canadian Fine Art, is now “senior advisor” to Waddington’s, said company president Duncan McLean and Stephen Ranger, vice-president, business development. Joyner started in the art auction business in 1968, foremost as Sotheby’s representative here before establishing his own company in 1985. Dissolving the Joyner brand comes in the wake of the recent departures of two senior Joyner employees, Robert Cowley and Lydia Abbott, to co-found a new auction house, Consignor Canadian Fine Art, with Winnipeg-headquartered Mayberry Fine Art.
Rodeck herself is no stranger to Joyner or Waddington’s, partnering with Joyner in 1991, then serving as managing director of Joyner Waddington’s through June 2004. After a stint as a private art consultant, she joined Sotheby’s Canada in 2010. Rodeck is also on the board of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.