John Siudmak has been in the Asian art business since 1974 when he started working at Christies in London cataloguing Indian and Himalayan art and Islamic art and eastern carpets. He had long felt a fascination for India, and had spent the year of 1972 there based in Varanasi where he stayed with an indian family in Kamachha. He spent the time visiting many of the archaeological sites and museums of north India and Nepal and made the first of many visits to Kashmir. At Christie’s he had the opportunity to see many collections, and enjoyed the enviable experience of handling the great quantities of material coming onto the market during the six years he worked there.
A the end of 1979 he left Christie’s to start his own business as a dealer and consultant, and during the last thirty-six years has made many discoveries and sold many important objects and sculptures to private and public collections throughout the world. He has handled several collections, including the Walmore collection to the V&A back in 1988, and more recently, the Simon Digby collection in 2011. In 1990 he took time off from his business to do research at Oxford University on the stylistic development of the sculpture of Kashmir, for which he was awarded a D.Phil in 1994, and is now the leading authority. The revised version of the thesis was recently published by Brill (2013) as a book entitled The Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Ancient Kashmir and its Influences.
Known for his discretion and integrity, he brings good taste, specialist knowledge and connoisseurship to the field. Since 2011 he has participated in Asia Week New York, and has published a scholarly catalogue of Indian and Himalayan art to accompany his annual exhibition there.