Close Request Information
Back to Master's Programs in New York


About the Program

The MA in Contemporary Art combines the art historical study of art since 1960 with practical, real-life skills to prepare students for a career in this exciting and growing field. Located in the most important center of the art market, visits and focused travel augment lectures and seminars, taking the program outside the classroom to artist studios, galleries, museums, and private collections. The MA program prepares students for a wide range of careers in the art world, including ethical issues associated with contemporary art; it also cultivates communication and connoisseurship skills necessary to study and evaluate objects, and to engage directly with the marketplace. Students gain knowledge of a wide array of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, photography, and time-based media, as well as digital and ephemeral work. They also analyze methods of display and issues around the curation and collection of art.

Learn about the About the Sotheby's Institute-NY Exhibition Series

About Our MA Students

The MA Contemporary Art student is an independent thinker, has strong observation and communication skills, and is aware of the latest developments in contemporary art and culture. Our typical student is dynamic, entrepreneurial, and eager to work on both academic and practical levels, combining academic rigor in the discipline of contemporary art history with market knowledge of current trends and developments in the international art world.

Our Curriculum

Click here to view our 2018-19 Master's Degree Curriculum and Courses (PDF)

In the Spring and Fall semesters, students mount a series of exhibitions in the landmark Art Deco General Electric building in midtown Manhattan as part of the MA in Contemporary Art course “Curating Contemporary Art: Project-Based.” Learn more about the exhibition series.


Explore our Viewbook, click here to receive a copy.

MA Contemporary Art Meet Kathy Battista, Director of Contemporary Art in New York
The Details
  • Curriculum


    Click here to view our 2018-19 Master's Degree Curriculum and Courses (PDF)

    Note: Course offerings subject to change
  • Faculty
  • Course Fees & Application

    Course Fees & Application

    Click here for tuition and application requirements.

    Now accepting applications for Master's programs starting Fall 2019. Apply Now.

  • Field Trips And Study Visits

    Field Trips And Study Visits

    The MA Contemporary Art program also includes two field study trips during which students immerse themselves in an art world destination. These trips are integrated into the core MA Contemporary Art curriculum and are designed to take students to both established and emerging destinations for contemporary art. As a culmination of a series of lectures in the field study course, the trip contextualizes art historical and art production in a local market through intensive daily visits to museums, galleries, private collections, artist studios, and new hybrid institutional models. Students are expected to be active participants, through both individual presentations as well as seminar discussions. They also have the opportunity to interact with local art world professionals during the visits. Destinations vary per year to include timely and relevant exhibitions, art fairs and international events. Past trips have included Venice Biennale and Milan; Sharjah Biennial, Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi; Zona Maco Mexico City; Sao Paulo Bienal; Marfa, Texas; Pacific Standard Time, Los Angeles; Havana, Cuba.
  • Access To Top Art Research Centers

    Access To Top Art Research Centers

    In addition to research and study at the New York campus library, Sotheby's Institute of Art students have access to some of the top art research centers in the Unites States. These include the Museum of Modern Art Library, which houses a comprehensive collection devoted to modern and contemporary art, and the Frick Art Reference Library, with collections relate chiefly to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints from the fourth to the mid-twentieth centuries by European and American artists. For the full list of New York City area resources click here.
  • Contact And Request Information

    Contact And Request Information

    For further information, please contact:
    Anupama Chakravartti, Associate Director of Admissions
    Email: or Request Information
    T +1.646.438.7234

Have a Question?

Provide your contact information and we’ll send you more information about our courses.

Continue Exploring

More Info Request Info Viewbook