Robbie Gordy studied French in high school, and by the time he came to KU, he was eager to pick up another language.
While he chose history as his major, he also took all the available undergrad classes in Italian language, literature and cultures. Now employed by Christie’s auction house in New York, Robbie finds his foreign languages to be indispensable.
“Language skills are a must-have in the art world,” he said. “The clientele is incredibly diverse, not to mention that many of the sources required in research are in a foreign language,”
After graduating from KU in 2009, Robbie went on to earn his master’s in the History of Art from Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2011. At Christie’s, he collaborates on the presentation and development of high-profile consignments and collections at auction. He is also a charity auctioneer, and raises millions of dollars each year at galas and benefits for organizations in New York and across the country.
“People wrongly assume that foreign language only makes a difference if you're fluent,” he said. “In my work, things like phrases, cultural knowledge that comes in connection with learning a foreign language, and even the ability to simply translate the title of a work of art are incredibly helpful skills.”