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Sotheby's Institute of Art

Art as a Global Business: the Value of art

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Art as a Global Business: The Value of Art provides essential information about the systems, structures, and dynamics that drive the art market to reveal the key influencers and the legal context within which these influencers operate. Designed to build knowledge of Old Masters and contemporary art alike, each week evaluates how newer artists garner prestige, and how newsworthy sales drive the market internationally. Course materials also analyze the art market from a current viewpoint and trace the market’s historical roots, providing an in-depth picture of how today’s market came into being. Beyond considering the importance of the substantial amounts of money involved in the dealing of art, this course also gives you the opportunity to carefully consider the challenges, risks, and opportunities inherent in the market.

What you will learn:

  • An understanding of the structure, history, and dynamics of the art market.
  • The analytical skills to critically evaluate the art market and the practices involved in buying and selling art.
  • A close examination of the opportunities, challenges, and risks of the art market.

Sample Topics

Week 1: An Introduction to Collecting

  • Cabinets of Curiosities to Museums – The History of Collecting
  • Development of Museums and Contemporary Collecting Practices

Week 2: Introduction to the Art Markets

  • Renaissance Patronage to Today – A History of the Market
  • Primary Market, Secondary Market, Auction Market, and New Markets

Week 3: The Value of Art

  • What Makes Art Valuable
  • How are Market Values Established

Week 4: Validation

  • Exploring the Networks of Institutions and Individuals that Shape the Market
  • Galleries, Museums, Auction Houses, Art Fairs, Dealers, and Publications

Week 5: The Rise of Pop Art

  • Exploring the Rise of Pop Art
  • Art Consumption and Identity

Week 6: Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks

  • Photography, Video, and Installation Art
  • Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks in the Art Market


PhD, MA, Goldsmiths, University of London Dr. Giovanni Aloi is an art historian specializing in the history and theory of photography, representation of nature, and everyday objects in art. He has published with Columbia University Press, Phaidon, Laurence King, and Prestel and has been appointe...
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