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Hlene Love-Allotey is Rewriting the Rules of the African Art Market   

From her perch at esteemed auction house, Bonhams, Helene Love-Allotey has been a key force in developing the African art market, and she’s done so without following the typical rules. Her insatiable passion for bringing the history of African art to the world, her promotion of diverse rosters of African artists and types of works, and her efforts to cultivate relationships between artists and collectors have been critical to creating the booming African art market. In 2020, Love-Allotey broke away from the tradition of putting the most expensive lot on the cover of sale catalogues, placing Zanele Muholi’s Sasa, Bleecker, New York, 2016 from their “Somnyama Ngonyama” series on the front. She was also a part of the team involved in the high-profile sale of Ben Enwonwu’s 1974 painting Tutu, which was long presumed to be lost. It wound up selling for $1.6 million, more than $1 million more than it was estimated to go for.