About the Program
The Master’s in Fine and Decorative Art and Design derives from the oldest program at the Institute, the Works of Art course, which started in 1969. It offers an integrated study of fine and decorative art and design based on case studies drawn from the late Renaissance through to the late Twentieth Century. These studies are used as lenses through which to examine the production and materiality of art objects, and to consider aspects of consumption – including patronage and collecting – and the historical and contemporary art market. Students are equipped with sophisticated visual, critical, and research skills, enabling them to work in all areas of the international art world.
All of the MA programs are enhanced by a shared core curriculum, Navigating the Art World, which introduces students to the global art world and provides them with understanding of art business principles, professional skills, and critical understanding to mobilize at the completion of their degrees.
In Semesters 1 and 2, students follow two core units – Fine and Decorative Art: Production and Patronage and, Art and Design: Modernity and Modernisms. The units comprise workshops, seminars, and lectures given by faculty and visiting experts. Both semesters include regular visits to museums, private collections, galleries, and auction houses as well as a European study tour. Past tours have included visits to Paris, Venice, the Netherlands, and Maastricht (TEFAF). Students complete a range of assignments, which are intended to develop both academic and professional art world skills. The flexible structure of the Master’s program allows students to concentrate their studies on a chosen field by selecting two elective units in the second semester, choosing either from Art and Authentication and Contemporary Design and its Markets, or from the other Sotheby’s Institute MA programs in areas such as Asian ceramics, photography, or art business. In Semester 3 students prepare a dissertation under the supervision of their tutor.
About Our Students
The program welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds who are motivated by an object-based approach to the study of fine and decorative art, and who wish to pursue a career working closely with art works – whether in an auction house, commercial gallery, art fair, museum, or as a consultant or independent researcher. The program allows students to specialize in areas of particular interest within the fine and decorative arts, and expand their knowledge of art with two elective units chosen from a range offered across the MA programs.
Access a copy of the 2020-21 London Master's degree curriculum and course descriptions.
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