Hans from Sotheby’s talks about how he loved Outside In: Journeys

6938 || 2147 || Untitled ||  || 4476

Hans is the commissionaire (or ‘doorman’) at Sotheby’s, Bond St. Those of you who attended our Outside In: Journeys exhibition will remember his smiling face. He hadn’t heard of Outside In before the exhibition but instantly fell in love with the charity and has developed a strong relationship with us since. Here he talks about the impact the charity had on him, as someone used to ‘regular auction displays’, and how overjoyed he was to be able to be involve in welcoming people into the Outside In Journeys exhibition. He will coming down to Pallant House Gallery in May to volunteer at the EOA Conference 2018  – tickets on sale now.


I’m Hans, the commissionaire at Sotheby’s. Just a little about myself: I’m Dutch and have lived in America, Ireland and now the UK. The job title sounds very expensive but it’s a great one – it’s a great job and gives me great fulfilment. The main part is that I welcome people to Sotheby’s, and inform them of the ongoing exhibitions in the building.

The Outside In exhibition taking place in our galleries was a special one and one I will not soon forget. When the collection came in and was put into place, I was very taken by the art. It was a world away from our regular auction displays, but also very fresh,  exciting, and special when you start reading into it. I let the people from Outside In inform me a bit more, and so I got a better understanding of the charity and what they set out to do. It fascinating organisation and it has made a great impact on me.

The opening night of the exhibition was a great evening with a more-than-full gallery. When I opened the door on the evening, you could see the faces of artists and families lit up Bond Street – it was magical. The art was so well displayed and you saw the artists with so much pride standing close to their art. This also gave me an opportunity to talk to some of the artists and learn about them and their back ground, so I could talk about it during the exhibition period with a bit more passion.


“The response has been overwhelming, not only novice visitors but also well-established art connoisseurs were making comments mostly about the refreshing art on display”


The people of Outside In were fantastic to work with and a great source of information – I won’t names as I might forget to mention a few. A mention should also be given to the Ambassadors: they are very much a great part of the exhibition and overload me with information.

The days on which the exhibition was open were fantastic. Showing people in to the gallery was always great. The response has been overwhelming, not only novice visitors but also well-established art connoisseurs were making comments mostly about the refreshing art on display. And it only got better with time –  there were great workshops, many proud artist, and even “fans”! I got more and more into the way this charity works, and that made me more and more knowledgeable and made it for me easier to talk about it.


“The impact it has made on me is big and forever changed my view on art and where it all comes from”


The impact it has made on me is big and forever changed my view on art and where it all comes from. That is from the heart. In my time at Sotheby’s I have seen many great pieces of art grazing the walls of our galleries, but the Outside In exhibition has surely made a big impression on me.

And this also made me decide to volunteer at the European summit in Pallant house Gallery in Chichester. Having discussed this with Marc we found a way for me to be useful, and I’m looking very much forward to lend my hand and hopefully it won’t be a one-time affair.

It has now been a few weeks since we had the exhibition and it’s still very much in my head and it will still come up in conversation with visitors. A special mention should go to the “chewing gum man” who has produced a few art pieces outside our front door, were they still create a bustle. I hope this has given a bit of insight into my dealings and interactions with Outside In during their exhibition at Sotheby’s, it was one of great fun and admirations for artist and staff alike.


Portrait of Hans and The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Ben Wilson, aka ‘Chewing Gum Man’, created on chewing gum outside Sotheby’s


Tickets are currently on sale for the EOA Conference 2018. See here for more information and a link to purchasing tickets.

3 Comments about this

  1. Phil Baird

    Lovely piece by Hans a very larger than life charactor he really made us feel at home and became a vital part of Journeys and part of Outside in Thank you Hans.

  2. Jason Pape

    I met Hans on the opening night of Outside In Journeys and he’s really friendly and kind. I had just got out of the taxi with my mum when as we were walking past Sotheby’s we heard a friendly voice say hello can I help you? At first we thought he was talking to someone else but Hans walked over to me and my mum and welcomed us into Sotheby’s. He showed me and my mum around the exhibition before it opened as I had arrived one and half hours early, it was lovely of Hans to do that as I was a bit nervous to begin with. It was a great exhibition and Juble has never looked better! I huge thank you to Hans, Sotheby’s and Outside In for an amazing exhibition!

    Reply moderated
  3. swalkluc

    Hans, how great that you were so moved by the Outside In ‘Journeys’ exhibition! I remember you from my visit as an OI artist to the breakfast event: you are mentioned in my proem in the blog post ‘surprise-visit-to-sothebys’. Enjoy your time at the Pallant House Gallery!

    Reply moderated

What do you think about this? Guidelines for commenting

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *