"Every" Art Museum in New York City

Dive into the New York art world and get an insider view of how top museums operate in this cultural capital.


Designed for the passionate museum-goer, this course will provide a gateway for students to visit “every” major art museum in New York City — such as The Met, The MOMA, The Guggenheim, The Whitney, The Frick, The Brooklyn Museum and others – where they will learn about the differences between large, encyclopedic collections and small, more focused establishments. How did – and do – museums acquire their collections and how do they care for them? How, when, and why is the work displayed? To whom do the museums belong? By using the city as their campus, students will learn about art as well as about the museums themselves: their importance and how they work. Students will learn about the choices curators make and what goes into curating a big show as well as how a permanent collection is maintained.


Students will also learn about various careers associated with museums and get an insider perspective on how museums operate. Students will explore the different roles played by various staff positions, from the curator who tells the story of the exhibition to the membership director who packages the museum to the external patrons and supporters, giving students an understanding on how museums work from the inside out. Students may also go behind the scenes or enter a museum before opening hours to gain a new perspective on museum collections from the museum staff.


Site Visits:
Visits will include New York City’s most influential art museums.


Site visits may include:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art & The Cloisters
  • The Museum of Modern Art and PS1
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • The Whitney Museum of American Art
  • The Frick Collection
  • The Brooklyn Museum of Art
  • The Cooper-Hewitt Triennial
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem
  • The Noguchi Museum
  • El Museo del Barrio
  • The Neue Galerie
  • The Rubin Museum of Art


Guest Speakers and Lecturers:
Students will hear firsthand about museum front-end and back-end operations.


Guest speakers may include:

  • Museum curators
  • Exhibition designers
  • Museum educators
  • Conservationists
  • Art critics
  • Art historians


Materials Fee: $275


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

Term Dates

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

  • Term 1 Grades 9-11 June 9 to June 21

This summer, we’re offering 16 unique courses for Summer Institute students. Explore the full summer schedule to learn more about course dates and grade eligibility.

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 “every” major art museum in New York City. Outings will focus on the combination of viewing art in the galleries and going behind the scenes with museum staff to learn about different careers in the museum industry.

  • 2

    Students will hear firsthand from museum experts about how to experience galleries and view works of art. Students will hear about the inner workings of a museum from those who know it best and will learn how museums contribute to the vibrancy of the New York City art scene.

  • 3

    This course is ideal for students who love art museums, enjoy looking at art, and are curious about how museums work. Those considering careers in museums will benefit from meeting with staff and learning about the variety of opportunities available: how museum exhibitions are conceived and curated, how public programming is integrated into exhibitions, how collections are safely stored and preserved, how museums attract and maintain members, and more.

  • 4

    This course is also beneficial for those wishing to boost their visual literacy so they can grow comfortable viewing and discussing art.

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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