This Semester program, formerly called Foundations of Western Art, is an intensive introduction to art history. In addition to providing both academic and vocational training for those aspiring to work in the art world, the program is designed to deepen one's understanding of art, its production, and consumption. Students will learn about key stylistic developments, materials, and techniques in the western world – from ancient Greece to contemporary art – while also acquiring a range of practical skills through diverse assignments.
In addition to the study of art history, the program includes a series of sessions entitled "Talk to the Professionals," during which students will have the opportunity to meet museum curators, auction house specialists, fine art dealers, art restorers, art educators, as well as press and PR managers, and learn about their experience and path to success in the art world.
The program prepares students for a wide range of careers in the art world or for further study on one of our postgraduate programs. Students learn practical skills connected to analyzing and dating a broad range of artwork, including work encountered for the first time in galleries, museums, and site visits. Students learn how to communicate about art orally and in journalistic and academic writing styles, and are introduced to the practical and theoretical issues of curating through an Exhibition Project. The program also deals with the broader social, political and cultural contexts which defined the shape of artistic achievement across a very long period. For students without an art history background who are considering applying for a postgraduate program at Sotheby’s Institute, this Semester program provides a strong foundation in Western art history to prepare them for postgraduate study.