Where Art Meets Business
Sotheby’s auction house was founded in 1744 when Samuel Baker, an entrepreneur, occasional publisher, and successful businessman held his first auction. Today at Sotheby’s Institute, we emphasize a keen understanding of an object’s value and history, a spirit of inquiry and scholarship, business acumen, and innovation that build upon these foundational values.
The Institute offers educational programs for professionals, pre-college audiences, and graduate students seeking expertise in art business and an understanding of the $60 billion global art economy. Our course offerings cover everything from art history to key business skills from our campuses located in the world’s art capitals of London and New York, as well as online.
Courses at Sotheby’s Institute are structured with the guiding principle that education is gained in the classroom, but equally important is hands-on experience and situational context. Institute faculty are experts and leaders in their fields, bringing a wealth of practical knowledge from their professional experiences as well as a solid academic grounding to all students.
Why Study with Sotheby’s Institute of Art?
The Institute offers a wide course catalog throughout the year. Short professional development courses or online classes fit into a working professional’s schedule. The Master’s degree allows full-time students to gain foundational knowledge for a future career. Areas of expertise span contemporary art to curating, luxury to logistics, art law to valuation, and much more. This makes Sotheby’s Institute of Art the premier educational choice for individuals who wish to excel in any area of the art world.
Since its founding in 1969, Sotheby’s Institute has built an extensive global network of diverse individuals, which grows with every class. Each year, over 2,500 students study with Sotheby’s Institute and go on to work and network, across every sector of the art world. The Master’s degree alone has over 8,000 alumni — the largest and most powerful alumni network of its kind.
The Institute is privately owned yet maintains close ties with Sotheby’s auction house. This context allows for the objective rigor essential in higher education to be paired with exclusive access to the world’s largest art business.
For its degree-granting programs, including the renowned Master’s degree, the Institute has prestigious accredited partners, such as the University of Manchester (a Russell Group university in the UK), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and Tsinghua University in Beijing.
From field study trips to behind-the-scenes visits and expert-led instruction – a Sotheby’s Institute experience includes a unique, firsthand study of the art world, making sure that students are well equipped with a depth of understanding, art historical scholarship, and business acumen relevant to today’s art world.