The firm announced last May that she would be joining as chairman at Phillips following 16 years at Sotheby’s.
The appointment of Westphal was arguably the most notable of a glut of specialists joining the company from Sotheby’s and Christie’s since Edward Dolman was appointed chief executive in 2014.
These included the announcement last week that Miety Heiden, another ex-Sotheby’s staffer, has been appointed as deputy chairman and head of private sales.
The movement of specialists between the different auction houses comes as both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have made significant cuts in staff numbers. Phillips however appear to be in process of recruiting in particular areas.
In January, Phillips appointed Dina Amin as head of the 20th Century & Contemporary Art department in London who joined from Christie’s where she was a senior director and specialist for post-war and Contemporary art.
In a statement, Phillips said: “The appointment of Ms. Westphal caps off a significant period of expansion of the company’s contemporary art team. The auction house is in the midst of major international growth: along with establishing its Hong Kong office and recently holding its first-ever sale of contemporary art in Asia, the company added regional directors or specialists in Los Angeles, Seattle, Mexico City, Cologne, Tokyo, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, and Taipei in the past year."
After joining Sotheby’s in 1990, Westphal rose in the company before becoming chairman of the Contemporary art department in 2006. She was appointed to her worldwide role in 2014.