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The art trade has long been considered an "exceptional economy," but how exceptional is it really – and why? This course will provide an overview of both classic and contemporary business frameworks and will use them to explore the art world’s many businesses, such as galleries, auction houses, storage facilities, insurance providers, and more. Site visits, classroom lectures, and guest speakers will engage with how each business positions itself strategically within the industry, identifies and reaches a target market, and how these activities both conform to and diverge from standard business models. By the end of the course, participants will have both a clear overview of the field of art business as well as a nuanced understanding of its particular challenges and rewards.

To complete the course, students will be asked to build a business plan for the creation of an art gallery using the notions and key principles learned during the classes and present it at the end of the course. This case study will demonstrate what skills and assets are necessary to create and drive a healthy business in the art industry.

Students will learn:

  • To identify the various actors that comprise the art trade and how they interact.
  • To understand how each business within the art world positions itself strategically within the industry, identifies and reaches a target market, and how these activities both conform to and diverge from standard business models.
  • To analyze a wide array of art businesses to assess their strategic positioning and marketing effectiveness
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    Dates: July 6 – July 30, 2020
    Times: Monday – Thursday; 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Location: The course will take place at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, 570 Lexington Avenue, New York, 6th floor.
  • Faculty


    Coming in early 2020.
    Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders, and professional experts in the art world.
  • Sample Topics & Site Visits

    Sample Topics & Site Visits

    Week 1:

    • Identifying key players in the art world

    • The history of art business, including the birth of auction houses and galleries

    • How art business models differ from traditional business models

    Week 2:

    • Art appraisal and valuation

    • Current art market trends

    • Art as a financial asset

    Week 3:

    • Art market transparency and legislation

    • Museums and non-profit art institutions

    • Art marketing and branding

    Week 4:

    • The rise of art fairs in the global market

    • Art business and new technologies

    • New business models for museums and art institutions

    Past site visits have included:
    Sotheby’s auction house, Artsy’s headquarters, Top art galleries, Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and more.
    Past guest speakers have included:
    Auction house experts and auctioneers, gallery directors, art world marketing and communications specialists, art collectors, and artists.
    Each summer, faculty update their syllabi to reflect current trends and exhibitions. Topics are not comprehensive and are subject to change.
  • Certificate Of Completion

    Certificate Of Completion

    The New York - Summer Institute offers its courses on a non-credit basis. Participants who attend the majority of classes receive a digital Certificate of Completion. This certificate can easily be added to social media networks.
    A participant may seek approval and be awarded credit through their US-based home institution for our 4-week offering. Our Academic Programs office provides a Home Institution Form with requirements to assist in this process.
  • Course Fees

    Course Fees

    Course: $3,750
    Institute Fees:

    • A $50 registration fee beginning March 16, 2020

    • This fee increases to $100 on April 16, 2020

    Course fees include course-based site visits, materials, and guest speakers. Transportation and accommodation are the responsibility of the participant.
    Register for Multiple Courses to Save:
    - Take one 4-week course: $3750
    - Take two 4-week courses: $7000 ($500 savings)
    - Take a 4-week course and a 2-week course: $5800 ($350 savings)
    Further offers may apply for additional coursework.
  • Further Details

    Further Details

    While our New York – Summer Institute is non-residential, our Housing Resources page provides essential information and external resources for participants researching their options. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
    All courses are conducted in English; a good working knowledge of the language’s spoken and written form is recommended, although no certification is required.
    International participants should review the U.S. Government’s official Visa website and contact their country of origin's embassy/government office before registering. Our New York – Summer Institute continuing education, non-credit courses do not qualify for student visa sponsorship.
  • Registration & Contact Information

    Registration & Contact Information

    The New York – Summer Institute is open to anyone at least eighteen years with a high school diploma or the equivalent. Registration requires basic personal information and full payment by credit or debit card.
    Website registration is available from our website 24/7.
    Click here to register now.
    Our Terms & Conditions include information on program details and cancellation policies. Once registration information and payment are received, an email confirmation will be sent to you within 24 hours.
    For further information, course advisement, or registration assistance, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor

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