When the London office of Sotheby’s hired Robert Bowman in 1978, it did more than rescue him from accounting school; it introduced him to the world of art. As Bowman rose through the ranks, he grew concerned that certain sculptures were not receiving their due at the auction house. “All the 19th- and 20th-century sculpture was lumped together with the furniture,” he recalls. After creating and heading a department devoted to these sculptures, he left Sotheby’s 11 years ago to launch the Robert Bowman Gallery in London, which focuses on works created from 1830 through 1950, a period when Rembrandt Bugatti, Degas, and Rodin were active. In particular, he strives to establish the gallery as a trusted source of Rodins, a market that has been notoriously tainted by fakes in recent years. Earlier this year, Bowman sold a reduction of Rodin’s The Kiss for slightly more than $400,000. “When you handle sculpture a lot, it is easier to tell [counterfeits],” he says.
Robert Bowman Gallery, +44.20.7839.3100, www.robertbowman.com