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Sotheby's Institute of Art

Navigating Today’s art World: From Studios to art Fairs

Oct 30—Dec 10, 2019
USD 1485

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From record-setting auctions to celebrity artists, to the increasing presence of art fairs and galleries in major cities—today's fast-paced art world can be a challenge. Navigating Today’s Art World: From Studio to Art Fairs defines the different institutions in both the commercial and nonprofit sectors of the global art infrastructure, and offers a deeper understanding of the methods and motivations that drive the business and viewership of art. This comprehensive review puts you on the right track to operate with increased expertise within the art world.

Ideal for those new to the business of art, or looking to make a career change, this 6-week course acts as a foundational business course, and we recommend starting here before moving on to our more specialized courses.

What you will learn:

  • A comprehensive and current overview of the art and its markets.
  • A front-line perspective on the different players in the art world and their role and function within it.
  • An appreciation of how the non-profit and commercial art worlds are linked and dependent on each other.
  • The analytical skills to compare the advantages and disadvantages of different art world models and networks.

Sample Topics

Week 1: The Contemporary Art World – An Introduction

  • Course Introduction
  • Definitions of the Art World
  • Where We Are Today

Week 2: The Art World Ecology

  • Art World Models – A Critical Evaluation
  • Networks and Relationships
  • Global Platforms: Art Fairs and Biennials

Week 3: Museums, Curators and Critics (The Not-for-Profit Arena)

  • The Role of Institutions Today
  • Exhibitions and Curators
  • The Critics

Week 4: Galleries and Auction Houses (An Introduction to the For-Profit Arena)

  • Galleries - Their Function and Role
  • The Primary Market
  • Auction Houses and the Secondary Market

Week 5: Collectors and Collections (Private, Corporate and Intuitions)

  • Collecting Motivations
  • Collection Types

Week 6: The Artist (The Elephant in the Room)

  • The Role of Artists
  • Career Trajectory and Value Generation of an Artist


MA, Art History, University of Hamburg and the Courtauld Institute, London; MBA, Public Services, Warwick Business School PgCert in Teaching Art and Design in Higher Education (UAL) Stephanie Dieckvoss has over 15 years experience of working in commercial art galleries and art fairs, and a wealt...

Next dates

Oct 30—Dec 10, 2019
USD 1485

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