Entrepreneurs Forever 2014 | Version française

Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau

Founder and CEO of Adeona - cultural assets & art management

She masters the art of accompanying collectors.

Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau has chosen Adeona, the Roman goddess, protectress of children who go from one pair of arms to another - just like works of art – to house her activities of consulting in the field of collection management. « I am lucky enough to do a job I dreamed of, in a wonderful international environment. » Since the day when she went to her very first auction, she has been the architect of her own vocation, edifying her profile with expert know-how and a network which today allows her to sit with the other five other qualified experts who have been appointed by the Minister of Culture to the prestigious Consultative Commission of National Treasures.

Her vocation had nonetheless suffered a set-back in the VIth form, when her parents encouraged her to specialise in commercial studies. She entered the dance, one step forward into the world of business with EMLYON, one chasse to the side towards her studies in History of Art at the University.

Transmission is everywhere in my job: in the derivation between artists which make art evolve, in what artists say about their life and times to future generations, in the management of collections, in a way which should be well advised and affective...

She tried a few set pieces, most notably in marketing with Procter & Gamble. Her 3rd year project at the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon put her deepest desires back into perspective. She chose London as her vanishing point, where a grant from the Rotary International Foundation allowed her to obtain the diploma of the Royal Society of Arts. « It was one of the best years of my life, acquiring the bases of the history of fine arts and decorative arts, and meeting people who would change my life. »

When she came back to Paris in 1992, just after the Gulf war, Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau found herself in a chiaroscuro cultural environment. She smoothed down several assignments, but they weren’t enough to sketch out the career she was hoping for. An accident attached her to... a hospital bed; and she decided to prepare the Exam to be an Auctioneer, a long job as an illuminator.

She learned ‘’the art and the practice’’, from assessing works to the organisation of prestige sales, and obtained her diploma masterfully. Christies, the world leader in auctions (with 2,000 staff, 50 offices worldwide), anticipated that the French market would open up, and invited her to apply at the next round of the very selective in-house programme which profiles high potential candidates.

She took several months to exercise managing historical monuments and then Emmanuelle Vidal-Delagneau found herself back in London, where Christie’s soon appointed her Director of Special Sales. She coordinated auctions for some of the most illustrious collector families. Four years later, Christie’s entrusted her with the role of Director of Development in Paris. « The objective was to become the N°1 Auction Company in France; and that is exactly what happened for the 10 years I held the position, with some truly unforgettable moments. »

In 2009, she was amongst the Auctioneers who led the historical sale of the Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Bergé collection, at the Grand Palais in Paris.

She then completed the canvas of her training with the Leadership Programme at Insead. In 2011, the death of her parents, the birth of her son, the departure of her boss for Hong-Kong, drew a new period for her. « I wanted to accompany collectors or people who manage collections on a long-term basis, transparently and independently. »

She sketched out the ideal proportions for Adeona: private management of collections (setting up, inventory, assessing value, successions...), private sales, auction advice, and consultancy for artistic and cultural bodies. It is a profession of consultancy and service engineering which did not really exist before: and that is her work of art.

EM Lyon: Grande Ecole 1991
Translation : Carole Bausor, ILTC
Date de parution : 12/09/14