Art Writing

Learn how to write like an art critic, fashioning compelling profiles of art exhibitions and galleries.


What does great art writing look like? What is involved in researching and writing about art? How can you think about art in a way that will make your writing clear, organized, and influential?


Explore the answers to these and other questions by talking to art critics and insiders from publications, such as Artforum, ARTnews, Art in America, and The New York Times. Visit Printed Matter, Inc. in the Chelsea art district to get a glimpse of the dynamic world of art publishing, and learn about groundbreaking publications and websites that have the power to make or break an artist’s career. Students will visit the top summer shows at galleries and museums, and then produce their own reviews, features, profiles, or interviews as part of this course.


Site Visits:
Visits will include an array of galleries and museums, especially popular and timely exhibitions, which they will view side by side with current art writing and criticism about the shows.


In the past, site visits have included:

  • World renowned press store Printed Matter, Inc.
  • The contemporary art exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art
  • The Center for Book Arts
  • David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth gallery
  • Offices of art publications
  • An artist studio in Brooklyn


Guest Speakers 
Students will hear first-hand how to write about art for different types of publications, including presentations from individuals who have made writing about art the centerpiece of their careers.


In the past, guest speakers have included:

  • Art critics
  • Art magazine editors
  • Art publishers
  • Gallery owners
  • Artists


Materials Fee: $195


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 5 to July 17

This summer, we’re offering 14 unique courses for Summer Institute students. All courses are open to rising 10th – 12th graders and graduating seniors. Explore the full summer schedule to learn more about course dates.

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 visit Printed Matter, Inc., the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of artists’ books. Students will also attend a selection of summer shows at venues` such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as leading art galleries, such as David Zwirner, Gagosian, Pace, and Hauser & Wirth.

  • 2

    Students will hear first-hand about what constitutes great art writing from journalists, gallerists, museum personnel, and others who write about art. How do art critics look at art? What do they keep in mind when reviewing a show or an exhibition?

  • 3

    This course is ideal for students who love writing, reading, and critical thinking. Students will learn about different styles of writing, how to look at art with a discerning eye, and how to discuss art in a compelling and meaningful way. Students will write their own reviews, features, profiles, or interviews.

  • 4

    Students will examine a variety of groundbreaking publications and websites that have shaped how art is written about today, and how those publications and online outlets might influence the public reception of a show and even the very success of an artist’s career.

Summer Institute Faculty

Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders and professional experts in the art world. 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

Experience New York

  • New York City New York City

    With New York City as their campus, students will have access to all the city has to offer, attending field trips, site visits and special events.

  • Speaker Series Speaker Series

    Summer Institute students have unique opportunities to connect with the most accomplished artists and art professionals working today.

  • Housing Housing

    Summer Institute students have the option of living on campus in the university dormitories or commuting to class from their local residence.

  • Dining Dining

    University cafeteria-style dining halls serve a wide variety of healthy alternatives for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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