Sotheby's Institute of Art was founded by Sotheby's auction house in London in 1969. Initially, the Institute served as a training program for auction house employees and provided lessons in connoisseurship. Since 1995 the Institute has been an affiliated institution of the University of Manchester, the first and most eminent of the English civic universities and part of the esteemed Russell Group.
Today the London Institute is located in Bedford Square, a beautiful Georgian square with a private central garden built between 1775 – 1783. Bedford Square is part of the Bloomsbury district, historically well known for its literary connections and worldclass cultural and educational institutions.
Sotheby's auction house in London
Sotheby’s auction house, 1963
The New York Institute was founded at Sotheby's auction house in 1984 when it offered a course dedicated to the study of American Art. Today the Institute is located in midtown Manhattan inside a classic Art Deco skyscraper. The New York Institute was given degree-granting status by the New York State Board of Regents in 2010.
Sotheby's Institute partnered with leading art book publisher Lund Humphries in 2009 to produce a series of International Handbooks in Art Business. The series offers research and leading case studies for professionals working in the global art market.
Sotheby's Institute expanded into the online space in 2011 with courses that allow students to learn about the business and history of art from anywhere in the world.
In 2013, the Institute launched a new campus in Los Angeles in partnership with the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Andy Warhol's portrait of Queen Elizabeth, part of the Institute's contemporary art collection.
In 2014 the Institute announced a partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing. This partnership and an upcoming specialization in Latin American Art in Los Angeles enhance Sotheby's Institute's continuing commitment to exploring markets outside the art world's historic transatlantic axis.
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