Close Request Information


Fine art has been increasingly marketed, collected, and valued as a financial asset. This introductory course will explore the various financial positions possible in today’s international art market, including direct purchases, art funds and art exchanges, as well as art lending and the creation of private foundations. Participants will be asked to consider ethical implications deriving from the “financialization” of art and to develop their own perspectives on the relationship between art and commerce. These considerations will inform discussions about art investment -especially speculative-, as well as current and future regulation of the largest global art markets. This course will include case studies that address art market trends, including the advent of new digital platforms, and will introduce basic art and financial market tools and vocabulary to assist participants in comparing differing expert positions and reviewing market data. Each course module is taught by an industry expert and all together students will be exposed to a variety of voices from exceptional professionals in the field.

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 the most fundamental aspects of art finance and economics.
  • To build the practical knowledge required to begin engaging the various international art markets.
  • To examine the field of art-backed financial products and services, as well as their providers, and the international regulatory environment in which they operate.
  • To analyze the economic debates about fine art's performance as a financial asset.
  • To understand how art can be leveraged and is treated as a financial instrument globally.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    March 10 - April 20, 2021
    $1,485  ($1,335 if registered by February 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 Art Markets

    • Introduction: What is art in a global economic context?

    • A Brief History of Art Markets

    • Primary vs. Secondary markets

    • Key stakeholders in the Art Market

    • Art Markets in a wider economic context

    • Globalization of Demand and Supply

    • Introduction to art economics & finance

    • Introduction to Art Business Models (For-Profit and Non-Profit)

    Week 2: Introduction to Finance

    • A brief history of finance, overview of financial markets, linear vs. exponential growth, time value of money

    • Present value and net present value, introduction to risk and return

    • Rate of Return: Alpha versus Beta Return, Sharpe, Jensen & Traynor

    • Understanding Investment Portfolio Diversification (Systemic Risk vs. Unsystemic Risk)

    Week 3: Transacting in the Art Market

    • Assessing Value: Identifying Components (Current Value, Initial Value, Shows, Fairs, Collectors, Museums, Patrons, Age, Condition, Artist Catalog, Speed of Sale)

    • Pricing: Methods of Price Discovery (Comparables, Trends, Players, Exposure, Appraisal)

    • Buying at Auction (Buyer’s premium, seller’s commission, auction guarantees)

    • Rules and Regulations

    • Strategies for collection building

    • Non-Profit finance: Private art foundations and museums

    Week 4: Art as an Asset Class

    • Differences between Art and Other Assets

    • Estimating Returns for Art Assets (Compound Annual Growth Rate etc.)

    • Market Indices: Basic Concepts

    • Review of Art-Related Indices (Mei Moses and others)

    • Art Databases

    Week 5: Art Funds and Other Art-Related Investment Vehicles

    • History of Art Funds

    • Art funds today, and tomorrow

    • Art Assets: Risk, Return, and Correlation with other Assets

    • Art as collateral (Secured Lending)

    • Investing in art: Dos & Don'ts

    Week 6: The Future of Art & Finance

    • Blockchain

    • Digital platforms

    • Re-inventing the art market

  • Faculty


    Each course module is taught by an industry expert and all together, students will be exposed to a variety of voices from exceptional professionals in the field. The course leader is Sonja Wosnitzer.
    Sonja Wosnitzer (Course Leader) 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, she leverages prior experience at Sonnabend Gallery and Lincoln Center Corporate Fund to serve clients in private alternative asset consulting. For the past two years, Wosnitzer has taught Art Business for Sotheby's Summer Institute.
  • 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