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Sotheby's Institute of Art

A Practical Guide: Careers in the art World

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Today’s international art world offers a wide range of career opportunities that are continually evolving. The abundance of different types of careers are surpassed only by the variety of the art itself.

This course provides students with a hands on, practical guide to navigating a variety of art world opportunities, including fresh perspectives on how to achieve success. It maps who does what to shape the industry, looking at both traditional careers like curating and new and innovative careers in social media and marketing. In addition to lectures, targeted readings, and group discussions, this course includes interviews with a broad range of leading art professionals who share insights on their own career trajectories, and what might work for students. Additionally, the course includes a “career path workshop” in which students will have the chance to receive individualized feedback on personal career goals as well as targeted strategies for how to reach them in the fast-paced, flourishing environment of today’s art world.

What you will learn:

  • The key roles in the art world and their entry requirements, including new career paths related to art and technology
  • The factors that drive success in different art world careers
  • How to leverage your own strengths and interests to plan the best career path for you

Sample Topics

Week 1: Working with Art & Artists

  • In Galleries – the Artist Liaison
  • In the Studio – the Studio Manager
  • In the Museum – the Curator
  • In the Press – the Art Critic
  • Career Path in Focus interview

Week 2: Working on Stage & Behind the Scenes

  • At the Art Fair – Multitasking and troubleshooting
  • At an Exhibition – Collaborating
  • Behind the Scenes – The Registrar, the Conservator, the Collections Manager
  • Career Path in Focus interview

Week 3: Working in Sales, Publicity & Events

  • The Gallerist – “Always be closing”
  • The Auction House Specialist – Market Knowledge & Client Relationships
  • The Art Advisor – Standing Out in a Crowded Market
  • Marketing & Public Relations – From Press Releases to Networking
  • Career Path in Focus interview

Week 4: Working with Social Media & Technology

  • Looking Ahead – Harnessing New Opportunities
  • Art on Instagram – A Case Study
  • Careers in Social Media – New Roles & Future Prospects
  • Career Path in Focus interview


B.A., Harvard University M.A., Sciences-Po, Paris Emilie Faure works at the intersection of art sales and commercial strategy for artists. In her six years as Sales Executive at White Cube, she advised collectors on acquisitions with an eye on both curatorial relevance and long-term investment...
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