After serving as the Museum of London’s curator of fashion and decorative arts for five years, Timothy Long returned to his native Chicago to helm the luxury accessories and couture department for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. He sees many similarities between both roles.
“At museums, I basically found interesting pieces of historic clothing and accessories and interesting aspects about them as a way of storytelling to attract people to buy tickets. At the auction house, I use stories to get them to buy the materials,” he said.
In London, Long managed a collection of about 36,000 items dating as far back as the 15th century and curated or co-curated exhibits such as “Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die” in 2014 and “Pleasure Gardens” in 2018. Unlike his museum exhibits, which often involved years of exhaustive research, the fast-paced nature of the auction world attracts him. He plans to organize about four auctions annually and imagines them as mini exhibits. With nearly 37,000 Instagram followers, Long also brings his social media prowess to his new gig.
He’s already flexing his skills to promote an Alexander McQueen dress from the designer’s posthumously presented pre-fall 2010 collection for the Luxe Holiday auction at Leslie Hindman on Dec. 5. It’s a prime example of Hindman’s quality and foresight in the fashion niche, especially luxury handbags, that piqued his interest.
“I’m an objects person, so I need materials in my hand. It’s what gets my blood moving,” Long said.