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The Art of Buying and Selling at Auction


The Art of Buying and Selling at Auction

What does it take to buy and sell a work of art successfully at auction?

Buying and Selling Art at Auction offers an insider’s perspective on the thrilling, fast-paced world of art auctions, taking you behind the scenes to learn from top professionals at one of the world’s premier auction houses.

The course will examine questions such as: Who are the key players in an auction house, and what do they do? What are the different factors that determine the price of art, and how are values assigned? How has the internet changed the role of auctions in today’s art market? By the end of the course, students will master concepts such as commissions, reserves, guarantees, and irrevocable bids. Perfect for aspiring collectors, dealers, or the curious, this course will enable participants to approach art auctions with the knowledge and confidence necessary to succeed.


Maria Sancho-Arroyo

Adjunct Faculty, MA Art Business, New York and Online Premier

Maria brings over 25 years of international experience in the art world, first at museums – National Museum of Catalan Art, MNAC, in Barcelona and at the Louvre in Paris- then at Sotheby’s Auction House in London. During her time at Sotheby’s, she gained experience in all aspects of the auction world with a focus on business and client development. She has participated in numerous auctions and worked closely with all Sotheby’s European offices.

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  • About Flexible Courses

    About Flexible Courses

    This flexible online course is delivered in weekly modules consisting of recorded lectures, instructor-guided discussion boards, and supplementary resources. The course will include a final project with personalized feedback from the course instructor. All participants will have read-only access to the course materials for an additional 90 days after the course end date.

    Review the online course Terms and Conditions.

  • Students Will Learn

    Students Will Learn

    To evaluate the opportunities, challenges, and risks posed by buying and selling artwork at auction.

    To analyze and evaluate published auction results.

    To identify and describe how values are ascribed and prices are determined for works of art sold at auction.

    To recognize the legal, financial and technical aspects involved in buying and selling works of art at auction.

    To assess the changes introduced by e-commerce and evaluate how digital platforms are transforming the auction business.

  • Course Completion

    Course Completion

    For successfully completing this course, you receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art as well as 5.2 IACET Continuing Education Units. *

    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.

    *As an IACET Accredited Provider, Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard.