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Establishing and Running a Contemporary Gallery


Establishing and Running a Contemporary Gallery

A discounted tuition rate is available for individuals who are interested to enroll in two or more Sotheby’s Institute of Art In-Person Professional Courses within the same term. Contact our admissions team at for more information and a discount code.

Explore how to establish and run a contemporary art gallery in today's art market.

As the landscape for art consumption expands, the contemporary art market’s explosive growth calls for a more in-depth look into the role of the gallery. This course explores the fundamentals of establishing and running a contemporary gallery in today’s interconnected art market. From business strategies and day-to-day operations – including ideas for using new technologies to drive sales and engagement – to key considerations for cultivating clients and managing artists, this course provides an invaluable introduction to the high-stakes world of commercial art galleries.

“Studying at the Institute influenced our art world career. It really gave us the foundations, skills and confidence needed to open our art gallery. From understanding logistics behind running a gallery, learning about how to analyze and price artwork, curate an exhibition, exploring ways to use technology to elevate our value proposition, and much more, it really allowed us to structure the project and turn our idea into a concrete plan of action.”

Ranji Safarian and Edward Van Houtte ’21, Founders, EDJI Gallery

Deadline to Register: March 25

  • Price
    You may select your preferred local currency as the payment option.

    Enroll in 2 or more In-Person Professional Courses within the same term for a discounted rate, contact admissions for a discount code.
  • Register
  • Date
    Spring | April 8 - 12
  • Time
    10am – 4pm GMT
  • Duration
    5 Days
  • Location
  • Topics
    • Art Business,
    • Contemporary Art,
    • Curating
  • Language
  • Contact Admissions

Learning Outcomes

  • To recognize the different types of commercial galleries, and articulate how a potential artistic program would fit into the gallery landscape.

  • To understand the variety of day-to-day logistics and roles that are required for a successful gallery business.

  • To leverage new technologies to create engaging digital gallery content.


Ed Leeson

Course Leader, London

Ed Leeson is a UK based gallerist and curator. He has organised exhibitions internationally in both commercial and institutional spaces. Over the last decade he has been a staff lecturer at TATE and a course leader at Sotheby’s Institute of Art where he lectures on contemporary art, its markets, and wider cultural studies. His MA thesis focussed on identity capture in museum cyberspace, and his current PhD research is on the aesthetics of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is the Director of 243 Luz.

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Sample Schedule

More Information

  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • Establishing a Strong Artistic Gallery Program
    • Successfully Working with Artists
    • Driving Sales and Establishing Collector Relationships
    • Translating from the Physical to the Digital
    • Curating in a Commercial Gallery Setting
  • Course Completion

    Course Completion

    Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 alumni around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.

  • Requirements


    We highly encourage participants with at least 3 years of post-graduate work experience for a smooth and successful course experience.

    English Language Requirement

    Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English.

    Age Requirement

    Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older.

    For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.