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Ann-Marie Richard, Interim Director, Sotheby's Institute of Art (New York) addressed the New York Class of 2020 during their virtual Graduation Ceremony.


Our ceremony today, celebrates the achievements of the Class of 2020. Staged online within the frame of an exceptionally trying time, a devastating pandemic, social unrest and historical accountability where the uniting chant is: Black Lives Matter. This day marks our graduates' professional entrance into a new phase of a better world and springboards innovative opportunities offered through the multi-layered conduit of the art trade.

Since 1969, the Sotheby’s Institute of Art has been the leader in international art market education, objects-based connoisseurship, and methodologies of valuation skills. To our world-wide alumni base, the Institute, and its unique abilities to communicate the language of art has provided invaluable insights in the pursuit of careers, be they commercially traditional, entrepreneurial, or academically inclined.

Today’s graduates have devoted themselves to intensive study, research, and reflection. We commend the resiliency of the class of 2020 for having completed a year of training under conditions which altered our customary way of learning. Within an art market context, we believe this experience, although unexpected, will benefit your future as we move to adapt to a rapidly changing tech-centric business, cultural and social environment.

Field study, presentations, projects, and internships have taken them through a feast of art fairs, galleries, museums, artist studios, and biennials here and abroad, physically, and virtually. Most importantly, many have formed relationships with classmates and professionals who may become future collaborators and colleagues within the global art community.

This ceremony recognizes progress from enthusiastic students of art history and art business to the status of new members of their profession. These graduates will lead the future of the art industry into an era of positive change, transformation, and growth.

The faculty and staff of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York are proud of our graduates' accomplishments. We wish you great success.

Congratulations to the Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York Class of 2020!