Art Business

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the international art world and discover how art is created and traded, both in person and online.


This online course will provide an insider’s look at the vibrant contemporary art market through an examination of the market’s key players and institutions including galleries, auction houses, and artists’ studios. In a dynamic virtual environment that balances a variety of expert-led live sessions with self-paced modules, students will gain an understanding of both primary and secondary art markets and the newest digital art commerce developments. Students will also learn about how the international art trade operates. In an interactive online setting, students will directly engage with prominent artists, gallerists, and auctioneers to identify the key personalities and most influential venues that contribute to the rich, varied dialogue around contemporary art and its trade. This course will address the relationships between the marketplace and the not-for-profit sector with a special focus on museums through virtual tours with curators of renowned art collections worldwide.


Virtual site visits may include:

• Behind the scenes at Sotheby’s auction house
• Online viewing rooms at world-renowned art galleries, such as David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth
• Global museums, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre Museum in Paris, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
• Virtual guided tours of New York City’s art neighborhoods, such as Chelsea in Manhattan with its many art galleries
• Artists’ foundations, such as The Louis Vuitton Foundation
• Artsy’s headquarters
• Artists’ studios


Global guest speakers may include:

• Auction house experts and world-famous auctioneers
• Online art sales entrepreneurs
• Gallery directors
• Online art world marketing and communications specialists
• Art collectors at their homes for a private virtual visit
• Artists working in new media


Self-paced activities and projects may include:

• Interactive virtual tour of global museums, such as the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles
• Case studies of financial data and funding models for art businesses worldwide
• Art world career path research and reporting
• Case study and profile of an art business marketing and branding strategy
• Curate an exhibition for a commercial art gallery or other art venue




  • Sonja Wosnitzer (Term 3) began her career in fixed income markets, spending several years at boutique investment funds and trading firms in New York City. Wosnitzer received her Master of Arts degree in visual arts management in 2018 from New York University, where she authored her thesis on applications of blockchain technology and engaged extensively with online art trading platforms. Currently, Wosnitzer leverages prior experience at Sonnabend Gallery and Lincoln Center Corporate Fund to serve clients in private alternative asset consulting. She taught Art Business for Sotheby’s Summer Institute-Pre College in 2019.
  • Tim Goossens (Term 4) is an independent curator and the Associate Director of Academics, Non-Degree Programs at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. He has also held faculty positions at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, both in person and online, including teaching Art Business for Sotheby’s Summer Institute-Pre College in 2019. Goossens began his career as an assistant curator at the Museum of Modern Art. He has also served as a New York gallery director and a curator for Aurora, the large-scale public art festival in Dallas, Texas. He has also curated the Art Triennial in Belgium and the IFPDA Fine Art Print Art Fair in New York. Goossens holds an MA in art history from the Sorbonne and an MA in Museology from the École du Louvre in Paris.



Tech Fee: $75


Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Term Dates

Term dates and course availability depend heavily on instructors’ schedules.

  • Term 3 July 6 to July 17 Term Closed
  • Term 4 July 20 to July 31 Term Closed

All courses are open to rising 10th – 12th graders and graduating seniors. Explore the full online summer schedule.

View Summer Schedule

What is an Intensive?

Intensives immerse students in a single subject area for the entire two-week Institute term, with the goal of cultivating comprehensive knowledge of that discipline. This thorough approach to learning enables students to develop deeper insights about the field by closely investigating its inner workings.

Course Highlights

Summer Institute enables students to dive deep into a course of study, sharpening skills for their academic and professional careers. Each course is carefully designed to suit student interests and encourage intellectual curiosity.

  • 1

    Students will virtually experience collectors’ homes, artists’ studios, and galleries. Such online tours may include a peek behind the scenes at Sotheby’s auction house, a virtual tour of a private collection in a collector’s home, or a virtual visit to the Guggenheim Museum with a curator.

  • 2

    Students will hear firsthand about the inner workings of the art industry from speakers that will include auctioneers, gallerists, art fair directors, and online art sales entrepreneurs. On virtual visits to galleries, students will get to hear from gallery owners about the day-to-day dealing with artists and collectors.

  • 3

    The course is ideal for students who love looking at art or creating art themselves and are interested in turning this passion into their life’s work. Students will learn how to identify steps to prepare for a career in the ever-evolving art industry, both in traditional institutions and new frontiers of online art markets.

  • 4

    Students will examine the art world cycle from art production to the various art market outlets using the newest technologies, and explore future opportunities for art world innovation, such as blockchain and online auction platforms.

Summer Institute Faculty

Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders and professional experts in the international art world who have extensive online teaching experience. Each faculty member structures their course around real-time conversations defining their professions and helps students master the unique forces at play in the art world.

Summer Institute Faculty

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