The global art market is the circulatory system of the art world. Business transactions are the lifeblood of the system, moving art from the studio to the gallery, the auction room, the collector’s home, and the museum. Along the way, artists, dealers, art advisors, curators, art handlers, insurers, and auction house experts engage in a complicated dance to build and sustain the value of the work and the careers and interests of all parties. Our pioneering Art Business program provides a vocational bridge for art history students into this vast commercial art world. Art Business is now a developed academic discipline in which Sotheby’s Institute continues to play the leading role. Balancing academic rigor with real-world applications in a dynamic learning environment with privileged access to key art institutions — this program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge in art markets and business management, entrepreneurship, connoisseurship, and collecting.
With the option to undertake part of the program remotely, professionals will gain flexibility by studying for one semester online and one semester in-person. In completing the same specialized and in-depth course of study as the full residency Art Business program, the hybrid Art Business program is designed for optimal flexibility, allowing students to gain the expertise and credentials of a Sotheby’s degree over three semesters through a combination of a remote semester, an on-site semester, and an independent capstone project that can be completed from any location in the world. Through the hybrid option, students will have access to the same faculty, academics, resources, and network and will receive the same specialized and in-depth course of study offered in the full-residency MA in Art Business program.
Core competencies in the art business world, from finance to marketing, are gained through courses that use the business-related tenets of economics to generate a modern, consistent, formal framework for strategic decision-making. In addition to learning with our faculty of thought leaders, scholars, and industry experts, students are given opportunities to engage professionals in the New York and international arts and cultural community and to learn directly from practitioners who are leaders in their field. Courses in art law, valuation, sales, strategy, marketing, and finance lay the foundation upon which students build a specialized program that suits their needs.
The Master’s degree is awarded for 30 taught credits across semesters one and two, as well as the completion of a 6-credit thesis or capstone project in the third semester.
In the hybrid program, the first semester in the fall will be taught entirely remotely, through a combination of asynchronous lectures with live sessions featuring guest speakers and skill-based activities and can be undertaken from any location. Students will also have the option to convene in person for one week of field study in the fall. The second semester in the spring takes place fully in New York City from January to May, with a curriculum of required courses plus an elective. The spring semester will also include a week of field study travel. If needed, students enrolled in the Hybrid MA in Art Business program can defer one field study experience to the third semester and still graduate on time with their cohort.
The MA in Art Business culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s Project (often a business plan or curatorial project) in consultation with a faculty advisor. The capstone project is to be completed independently from any location in the world between June and December of the third semester.