The Departure of Deidrea Miller from Christie’s: Implications for Diversity and Inclusion in the Art Auction Industry

In a surprising turn of events, Deidrea Miller, the senior vice president and head of communications for Christie’s Americas division, has left the renowned auction house. Miller’s departure raises questions about the progress of diversity and inclusion efforts within the art auction industry and the potential impact on Christie’s future initiatives.

A Champion for Diversity and Inclusion

Miller joined Christie’s just two years ago and made significant contributions during her tenure. She played a crucial role in facilitating the historic Paul Allen auction and the sale of a 1964 Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe, which set a record as the most expensive artwork by a 20th-century artist ever auctioned in 2022. Her work brought unparalleled publicity to major sales at Christie’s, reaching new audiences through strategic storytelling.

Much of Miller’s significance at Christie’s lies in her position as one of two Black executives in the auction house, and the only one with a public-facing role. Her departure raises concerns about the representation and leadership of marginalized communities within the industry.

The Importance of Diversity in the Art Auction Industry

Miller’s departure is undoubtedly a blow to Christie’s, particularly as the auction house has been emphasizing the need for greater diversity in recent years. The industry as a whole has faced criticism for its lack of representation and inclusion, both in terms of artists and professionals working behind the scenes.

Recognizing this issue, Christie’s implemented changes to its summer internship program in 2022. The program, previously limited to individuals with internal references, was expanded to accommodate any US-based rising junior or senior college student. This move aimed to create a more diverse staff and foster opportunities for underrepresented individuals.

CEO Guillaume Cerutti expressed pride in the diverse leadership and inclusion efforts at Christie’s during a press preview for the Spring 2022 sales, highlighting the auction house’s commitment to building a more diverse, respectful, and inclusive culture. Christie’s has stated that they will continue working to uphold these values.

Predicted Future Trends and Recommendations

Miller’s departure from Christie’s unveils the challenges and ongoing struggle for diversity and inclusion within the art auction industry. Moving forward, it is crucial for the industry to take proactive steps to address these issues:

  1. Invest in diverse talent: Art auction houses should actively seek out and hire professionals from diverse backgrounds. Building a diverse team will bring fresh perspectives, broaden the range of knowledge, and contribute to a more inclusive ecosystem.
  2. Create mentorship and training programs: Establishing mentorship programs can help cultivate and support future leaders from underrepresented communities. Providing training opportunities and resources for aspiring professionals can generate greater inclusivity and bridge existing gaps.
  3. Engage with marginalized communities: Auction houses should actively engage with artists, collectors, and communities that have traditionally been marginalized. By fostering relationships with these communities, auction houses can promote representation and create platforms for their voices to be heard.
  4. Transparency in diversity metrics: Art auction houses should regularly disclose diversity metrics to track progress and hold themselves accountable. This transparency will encourage dialogue around diversity and ensure continuous improvement.

The departure of Deidrea Miller shines a light on the work that still needs to be done within the art auction industry. It is imperative for institutions like Christie’s to redouble their efforts and demonstrate genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion. By implementing proactive measures and fostering an inclusive culture, the industry can begin to address its historical shortcomings and pave the way for a more equitable future.

“I’m proud of my work at Christie’s and the unprecedented publicity we achieved for its major sales in New York. It’s been a privilege to be able to pursue my passion for the arts and reach new audiences through storytelling.” – Deidrea Miller


  1. Axios: Deidrea Miller leaves Christie’s Arts
  2. ARTnews: Deidrea Miller Departs Christie’s
  3. Christie’s Press Release: Fostering Diversity, Respect, and Inclusion