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An artwork can have many lives, and many more values, depending on how, when, and where it is bought or sold. To fully appreciate how prices and valuations are determined, this course explores various definitions of value, as well as the factors that can create (or detract from) value.

From an appraiser’s perspective, you learn how to properly research an object from “start to finish” in order 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 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, and deepens your understanding of how to evaluate an artwork on your own.

What you will learn:

  • Familiarity with the essential value factors that can affect pricing and how to analyze them.
  • Proficiency in identifying basic media and appropriate research tools.
  • Knowledge of how prices are set at both the primary and secondary market levels.
  • An understanding of how condition and conservation can impact value.
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    19 June - 30 July 2019
    6 weeks of instructor guidance

    We offer our online courses throughout the year with sessions starting every 4-6 weeks.
  • Faculty


    Emily Thompson, Adjunct Faculty, Online and Summer Institute, New York
    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.
  • 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

  • Getting Started

    Getting Started

    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.
  • Course Fees And Enrollment

    Course Fees And Enrollment

    Tuition includes 6 weeks of instructor guidance and an additional 90 days to review the course at your leisure.

    Terms and Conditions

    Online courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

    Enroll Today
  • 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.
  • Contact Information

    Contact Information

    For further information or course advisement, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor, Non-Degree Programs
    Tel: 212-897-6644 or Request Information

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