The MA in Contemporary Art focuses on art from the 1960s to the present, the program New York combines strands on art history, curatorial studies, critical theory, and professional development. The program gives students key intellectual and practical skills to work in the production, exhibition, and sale of contemporary art. The program is anchored in the close study of visual art and critical thought since 1945, with an emphasis on professional skills and in situ learning in the galleries, museums, and artists’ studios of New York City and beyond. Students are trained to be conversant with art’s objects and ideas as well as the commercial and institutional contexts in which they are embedded, preparing them for a wide range of careers in the art world.
The program’s first semester supplies foundations in the study of objects, ideas, histories, and exhibitions. In the second semester, we examine the history of art since 2000, surveying key institutions — galleries, auction houses and museums — through which contemporary art flows. Courses on business skills cover key areas in art law, commerce, and fine art valuation. The MA in Contemporary Art culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s Project. Students can choose to submit their work in the summer and thereby complete their studies within one year. Alternatively, they can extend their studies into the fall and either transfer to the Institute’s campus in London or return to New York and pursue core courses in either Art Business or Fine and Decorative Art and Design.
An intensive program of lectures by faculty members and guest speakers of international standing, visits to major New York venues, as well as small group seminars, workshops, and student presentations, help students gain confidence in reflecting and speaking on all forms of contemporary art – from painting and sculpture to video and installation as well as the most recent web-based, collaborative, and multidisciplinary practices.