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MA Historic Art and Design

New York

MA Historic Art and Design

Fall 2024

Become a connoisseur. Develop an expert understanding and contextualization of the history, materials, processes, and techniques that contribute to the cultural and financial value of a work of art.

The Historic Art and Design curriculum is based on a simple belief: the fundamental currency of the art world is objects. The Master’s program offers an in-depth exploration of connoisseurship and the integrated study of fine art, decorative art and design, based on case studies drawn from the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Issues examined include style, materials and techniques, copies and revivals, but also investigation of patterns of patronage and collecting. We seek to understand the historical and contemporary art market for a range of primarily American (including Latin American and African-American) and European art and design objects.

Students learn how to engage directly with the marketplace and gain essential skills in connoisseurship, valuation, and curation, which are necessary to study and evaluate objects. Whether in sales, valuation, art history, or cultural institution management at museums, galleries, or auction houses — graduates of the Master’s degree program in Historic Art and Design are prepared for a range of careers and leave with an expanded professional network. Download the Master’s prospectus.

Please note: this program was formerly known as the MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design.


  • Experiential learning Visits and international study trips are significant learning events, with the travel, seeing the art in situ and informal access to tutors serving to intensify the experience.

  • Signature discussions In depth class discussions with assessing cultural versus financial value drivers being a signature theme.

  • Focused subject areas MA in Historic Art and Design expertly investigates issues of provenance, connoisseurship, authenticity, cataloguing, material, technique, artistic process, and market trends.

  • Burgeoning career paths Curated resources and professional development support is on offer to formulate career goals and develop strategies to secure art market opportunities.


Ann-Marie Richard

Director, New York

A.M. Richard, an art and design specialist, is a curator, art historian and advisor. She has lectured extensively on the topic of connoisseurship, collecting, conservation, provenance, emerging markets and the related subtleties of art and decorative arts appraising (American Association of Museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, F.I.T. SUNY, Pratt Institute, Pace University). Learn more...

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Bernard Vere

Program Director, MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design / Historic Art and Design

Bernard Vere specializes in art from the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. His work explores the connection between technological advances and the rise of the metropolis in modernist art, particularly in its implications for the individual subject. Learn more...

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More Information

  • Academic Structure

    Academic Structure

    MA in Historic Art and Design students analyze a range of objects dating from the 17th century to the 21st century. Students examine objects from a stylistic point of view, but not neglecting the wider historical, social, economic and cultural factors which have influenced the production of these artworks. The program aims to develop a critical understanding of the terms “fine art,” “decorative art,” and “design” and of the synergies and divergences between art objects across a range of media and periods. Students will spend much of the course looking at objects in a variety of settings, including online and in-person at museums, art fairs, auction houses, and collections.

    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 over the course of the third semester.

    The MA in Historic Art and Design 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 may also elect to extend their studies an additional semester and either transfer to the Institute’s campus in London or return to New York and pursue core courses in either Art Business or Contemporary Art.

  • Program Dates

    Program Dates

    SEPTEMBER 2024 ENTRY: September 2024 – December 2025


    • Early Action Deadline: December 1, 2023
    • Priority Decision and Scholarship Deadline: March 1, 2024
    • Regular Decision Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Tuition & Fees

    Tuition & Fees

    Semester 1: 15 credits
    Semester 2: 15 credits
    Semester 3: 6 credits

    Tuition: $1,878 per credit
    Travel Fee: Each field study trip typically ranges from $3,800 to $5,000 according to destination. Travel fees are indicative only and subject to change.
    Materials Fee: $824
    International Student Fee: $206
    For more information on tuition and program fees, click here.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions

    From visa information for international students to course credits, find answers on our FAQ page. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, contact an Admissions counselor.

  • Student Policies

    Student Policies

    Explore our library of academic and campus policies here. All students who enroll for graduate study must agree to the Terms and Conditions upon accepting their offer of admittance.

  • Prospectus


    Download the Master’s degree prospectus for an in-depth look at the curriculum and what to expect this academic year.

  • Enterprise Studio

    Enterprise Studio

    The Enterprise Studio was created as an extra-curricular program for Master’s students to receive training and support for new business ventures, culminating in a start-up pitch competition, the Gavel. Through close access to mentors, students have the chance to shape their plans from ideation to execution with the winning Gavel team receiving significant seed funding for their future business.