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The ever-changing and dynamic global landscape of today’s art market, with its high intensity art fairs and dizzying calendar of live and on-line auctions, presents more opportunities than ever to buy art. This course offers professional insights on how to navigate today’s vast and fast-paced international marketplace. Discussions will cover such topics as how to determine a collection focus, the difference between primary and secondary markets, differentiating price from value, due diligence checklists, issues surrounding authenticity as well as simple tips for inventory management. Using a variety of resources, you will embark on a virtual “shopping trip” applying basic collecting guidelines and comparative strategies to make a hypothetical acquisition for your collection. Whether you are a novice or more experienced collector, this course will introduce valuable strategies on how stay focused and discerning as you build your own collection.

By the end of this course:

  • You will engage a critical approach to collecting, to develop an 'eye' and to make confident and informed future acquisitions within the parameters of a budget.
  • You will develop important research skills through consultation with art historical sources as well as basic competency in comparable price research.
  • You will learn to deftly navigate the global art market through a variety of online resources for researching art for potential acquisitions.
  • You will gain an understanding of the legal complexities and consequences of fakes in the art market as well as the ability to carry out basic due diligence.
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    February 6 - March 19, 2017

    Online orientation opens on January 30, 2017.
  • Faculty


    Betsy Thomas
    MA, Courtauld Institute of Art; BA Pomona College

    Betsy Thomas is the founder and principal of a boutique art advisory firm providing professional representation for collectors. She advises on buying and selling in all areas of fine art from Old Master, American & 19th C. paintings to Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Masters. Previously Betsy was Vice President and Associate Specialist in the 19th Century European Paintings Department at Christie’s. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with private collectors and institutions developing high quality collections as well as managing sales of estates, private and corporate collections. Betsy has also taught in the MA in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute, New York.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Week 1: Why Collect

    • Overview of collecting

    • Deciding on a collection focus

    Week 2: Looking and Learning

    • How to be an educated collector

    • Key considerations in what to look for

    Week 3: The Marketplace – Dollars and Sense

    • Auction market

    • Retail market

    • Understanding Price Databases

    Week 4: The Hunt

    • What venues to visit

    • Auctions

    • Galleries

    • Fairs

    • Online Sites

    Week 5: Caveat Emptor

    • What’s a collector responsible for?

    • Fakes and forgeries

    • Due diligence

    Week 6: The Acquisition

    • Art Advisors

    • Buying at auction

    • Making the offer at a gallery

    • What happens next?

  • Online Orientation

    Online Orientation

    Our online orientation operates the same way as the course, giving you the opportunity to become familiar with the technology and the dynamics of online teaching and learning. Participation in the  orientation is not required, but it is strongly encouraged as students who complete the experience have a better chance of success. The orientation is available one week prior to class and remains open for you to use as a resource.
  • Course Fees And Enrollment

    Course Fees And Enrollment

    $1485 ($1335 if booked before December 20, 2016)

    Registration Fee: $15

    Click here to enroll and pay online.
    Terms and Condition
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:
    Claire Hoover, Program Manager of Online Learning
    Email: or Request Information Tel: +1.212.897.6644

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