Watson’s Bay body identified as indigenous art dealer as NSW police search for second mystery man
- Tim Klingender, 59, pulled from the water in Sydney Harbor
- Important indigenous art dealer was on a fishing expedition
A man found dead in Sydney Harbor has been identified as a prominent dealer in indigenous art.
The body of Tim Klingender, 59, was pulled from the water by police just south of The Gap, near Watson’s Bay, one of the city’s most famous viewpoints, shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday.
They had been responding to reports of boat debris in the water about 200 meters from land.
It comes as police are still searching for another man, 51, who is believed to have also been on board.
The body of 59-year-old Tim Klingender (pictured) was pulled from the water by police just south of The Gap near Watson’s Bay, one of the city’s most famous viewpoints, shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday.
Police were seen pulling wreckage out of the water with life jackets among the wreckage they carried onto their boat.
Mr. Klingender, who was allegedly pulled from the water wearing only his socks, had been out on a fishing expedition early Thursday morning.
The death of the married father of two has left the art world reeling.
Gallerist and art dealer Michael Reid said Kilngender’s death was an “unimaginable and devastating loss to his family and indeed to the Australian art world.”
“Tim had a quick laugh,” Reid wrote in a tribute posted on Facebook.
Mr. Klingender (pictured) was described by art experts as the “architect of the indigenous art market we have today.”
‘First on adventures and always up for a chat. Tim had a graceful debauchery that leaned toward the deliciously louche.
“With an in-depth knowledge of fine and decorative arts, Tim was an interior stylist as well as a major art dealer. Tim had skill, warmth and presence, in spades.
“Her funeral will be massive, as friends from so many walks and corners of her life will gather.”
Melbourne gallery owner D’Lan Davidson, one of the world’s leading dealers in indigenous art, told the Sydney Morning Herald Mr. Klingender was the “architect of the (Indigenous art) market we have today.”
Klingender was considered one of the world’s leading dealers in Indigenous Australian art and counted wealthy private collectors and Hollywood celebrities, including comedian Steve Martin, among his clients.
He trained at the University of Melbourne where he studied fine art before moving to work for Sotheby’s for 20 years, where he was International Director from 1998 to 2009.
Rescue teams looking for the other man have extended their search from The Gap south along the coast to Wedding Cake Island off Coogee.
‘Sea conditions around the search area are acceptable; there is a bit of swell but visibility is good enough for Marine Rescue NSW search teams,” said Steve Raymond, Marine Rescue NSW Inspector.
Police urge anyone with information to contact Marine Area Command or Crime Stoppers.