Hindman is recognized internationally as a leading fine art auction house. With an unyielding focus on client service, Hindman offers holistic solutions to connect clients in local US cities to the global art market. Hindman operates more salesrooms in the United States than any other firm and conducts over 100 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry, fine art, modern design, books and manuscripts, furniture, decorative arts, couture, Asian works of art, arts of the American West, and numismatics, as well as special focus subjects as the need arises.
Headquartered in Chicago, Hindman is home to 150 employees in both the Chicago office and branch offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale, and St. Louis.
Recognized for providing exceptional customer service, Hindman regularly handles the sale of collections of significant estates from around the country.
Founded in 1982, purchased by Sotheby’s in 1997, and reopened in 2003, Hindman delivers value-added, customer-centric service to clients around the globe. Also, part of the Hindman family of auction houses, Cowan’s Auctions was opened in 1995 by Wes Cowan in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cowan’s quickly earned a reputation for integrity, customer service and great results. In 2018, these two firms became the foundation for Hindman a rapidly growing organization with the ambition to be the nation’s most client-centric auction house.
Leslie Hindman founded her eponymous auction house in Chicago in 1982.
Just 15 years later, in 1997, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers was acquired by Sotheby’s. Ms. Hindman reestablished Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in 2003 and opened branch offices in Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale, and St. Louis, making it one of the largest auction houses in the United States.
Ms. Hindman’s deep knowledge of and perspectives on the auction business have been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Money, Art & Auction, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Fortune, Town & Country, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Tribune, and Chicago. Her critically acclaimed book, Adventures at the Auction (2001), was published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. From 1994 to 2001, Ms. Hindman hosted two television shows on HGTV, At the Auction with Leslie Hindman and The Appraisal Fair, which were viewed in more than 80 million households. She also wrote a weekly syndicated column, What’s It Worth?, for the Chicago Tribune. In 2014 Ms. Hindman co-founded Bidsquare, the world’s largest online bidding platform.
An accomplished speaker, Ms. Hindman frequently appears before audiences at museums and institutions, as well as at the American Society of Appraisers, International Women’s Forum, World’s Presidents Organization, Chief Executive’s Organization, Great Lakes Venture Capital Conference, and Philip D. Heckerling Institute for Estate Planning Conference. Ms. Hindman serves on the boards of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, Illinois Executive Mansion Association, Arts Club of Chicago, and Casino Club. She is a life trustee of the Avery Coonley School and trustee emeritus of the Goodman Theatre. She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, International Women’s Forum, Commercial Club of Chicago,and Economic Club of Chicago.
Ms. Hindman is the recipient of numerous awards, including the YWCA Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is a Living Landmark, as recognized by Landmarks Illinois.
Wes Cowan is the founder of Cowan’s Auctions, based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
An internationally recognized expert in historic Americana, Mr. Cowan stars in the PBS television series History Detectives and is a featured appraiser on Antiques Roadshow.
Mr. Cowan writes an antiques column for the Cincinnati Enquirer and is a frequently requested speaker at antiques events around the country. He is licensed as an auctioneer in Ohio, and he holds a BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Kentucky and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan.
After receiving his doctorate, Mr. Cowan joined the Anthropology Department of Ohio State University in 1980. In 1984 he moved to Cincinnati to assume the post of curator of archaeology at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History. He has been published widely in the fields of American archaeology and paleoethnobotany, and he is a coeditor of The Origins of Agriculture: An International Perspective and Societies in Eclipse: Eastern North America at the Dawn of European Colonization. In 1995 Mr. Cowan left academia and the museum world to grow Cowan’s Auctions into an internationally recognized auction house, which he has accomplished over the past 25 years.