Close Request Information


Determining Value: An Appraiser’s Perspective is a course that teaches students to enter the mindset of a professional appraiser and consider the many factors affecting how art is valued in a dynamic global market. An artwork can have many lives, and many more values, depending on how, when, and where it is bought or sold, and this course explores various definitions of value, as well as the factors that can create (or detract from) it.

From an appraiser’s perspective, students learn how to properly research an object from “start to finish” to determine market price and understand the impact condition can have on value. Through presentations and interviews with industry experts, course lectures explore the pros and cons of different sale models, including a sale at public auction and the gallery level, and advise on how to keep track of values in the fast-paced global art market. This course also outlines what to look for when evaluating different media, including paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints, to provide students a deeper understanding of how to evaluate an artwork independently.

This Premier Online Course features weekly recorded lectures and faculty-guided discussion boards to maximize flexibility and deliver an engaging and interactive digital experience.

Students will learn:

  • To identify and analyze essential value characteristics that affect the pricing of art.
  • To identify appropriate research tools and to perform research in order to assess artwork valuation.
  • To identify and describe the pricing of artwork at both the primary and secondary market levels.
  • To recognize how condition and conservation can impact the value of artworks.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    April 7 - May 18, 2021
    $1,485  ($1,335 if registered by March 2, 2021)
    Tuition includes six weeks of instructor guidance and an additional 90 days to review the course at your leisure.
    We offer this online course throughout the year with sessions starting approximately every four months. Contact us for more information.
  • Getting Started & How It Works

    Getting Started & How It Works

    SIA Online Community, our learning and networking space, opens two weeks before the course begins. This space provides an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the learning platform and introduce yourself to fellow students from around the world.
    Visit our How It Works page to learn more about the online learning experience.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Week 1: Introduction to Value

    • Exploring the Social and Economic Concepts of Value

    • Market Definitions: Appraisal vs. Valuation and Value vs. Price

    • Overview of the Market Cycle

    Week 2: Value Factors

    • Establishing Key Factors that Affect Market Value

    • Application of Factors at the Primary and Secondary Market Levels

    Week 3: Medium and Methodology – Part One

    • Identification of Medium – Paintings and Works on Paper

    • Relevant Primary and Secondary Market Research Tools

    • Catalogue Raisonnés

    Week 4: Medium and Methodology – Part Two

    • Identification of Medium – Prints, Multiples, and Photography

    • Relevant Primary and Secondary Market Research Tools

    Week 5: How Are Prices ‘Set’?

    • Exploration of the Auction Model and Pre-Sale Estimates

    • Exploration of the Gallery Model and Asking Prices

    • Best Practices for the New Collector

    Week 6: Condition and Value

    • Exploration of Condition as It Pertains to Value

    • When, Why and How to Work with a Conservator

    • What the Key Takeaways Are

  • Faculty


    Emily ThompsonAdjunct Faculty, Online
    M.A., Arts Administration, New York University; B.A., Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    Emily Thompson is a fine art specialist at Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance and its subsidiary company, Fine Art Asset Management, with over 15 years of experience in art market research and valuation.
    Before joining Emigrant, Ms. Thompson was a senior fine art appraiser at Gurr Johns International, where she valued artworks for financial planning, insurance coverage, and litigation support. Ms. Thompson is an Accredited Member of the Appraiser’s Association of America (AAA) and is a USPAP – Certified, IRS compliant fine art appraiser.
  • Certificate Of Completion

    Certificate Of Completion

    For each course successfully completed, you receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
    Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn. Successful completion is defined by each instructor in the course syllabus and consists, at the least, of regular, thoughtful participation in online activities and timely submission of assigned papers or projects.
  • Register


    Click here to register.
    This course is listed under the Premier Course option in the online application. Premier Online Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
    View Terms and Conditions
    Questions? Contact us at

Have a Question?

Provide your contact information and we’ll send you more information about our courses.

Continue Exploring

Online Learning Home How It Works Student Stories Online Faculty FAQs Request Information Register