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All MA applicants are required to have completed a BA degree or its equivalent. Students in their final undergraduate year may apply for admission and will be required to provide proof of graduation prior to registration.
Applicants should demonstrate the following skills:
- The ability to perform at a postgraduate level, as indicated by academic achievement and recommendations.
- Knowledge of art history. This generally requires an undergraduate art history major or minor. In special cases, art-related work experience or exceptional exposure to art making and/or collecting will satisfy this requirement. (Applicants with insufficient art history background may be required to take coursework at the Institute or an institution of their choice that is approved by the Institute’s faculty.)
- The ability to speak, write and analyze required subject matter fluently in English.
Work experience is not required. However, relevant employment and/or internships enhance a student’s application.
Months of entry
To ensure the health and safety of our students, we are providing hybrid options for this Master’s program in 2020-2021.
Fall 2020 will be offered remotely. For students on-site in New York, there will be an option to attend a hybrid course. Spring 2020 is planned to be in-person, and all courses will be live-streamed or recorded to enable remote learning. Students may elect to enter the program in the Fall or Spring. Our hybrid learning methodology will take students virtually into emerging and established markets, engage students in small group discussions, and provide global access both online and onsite to galleries, museums, artists’ studios, private collections, and art fairs, introduce them to international experts and artists, and provide them with skills for doing business in the digital era, such as virtual appraisals, online auctions, and much more.
About the Program
Experience the business side of art, delving into the theories, practices, history, and structural elements that define the art market. The global art market is the circulatory system of the art world. Business transactions are the lifeblood of the system, moving art from the studio to the gallery, the auction room, the collector’s home, and the museum. Along the way, artists, dealers, art advisors, curators, art handlers, insurers, and auction house experts engage in a complicated dance to build and sustain the value of the work and the careers and interests of all parties. Our pioneering Art Business program provides a vocational bridge for art history students into this vast commercial art world. Art Business is now a developed academic discipline in which Sotheby’s Institute continues to play the leading role. Balancing academic rigor with real-world applications in a dynamic learning environment with privileged access to key art institutions — this program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge in art markets and business management, entrepreneurship, valuation, art law, and collecting.
The MA in Art Business was the first program of its kind and our innovative curriculum continues to set the industry standard. Balancing academic rigor with real-world applications in a dynamic environment, the program provides an alternative to traditional academic models of study and stays in sync with the rapidly-evolving global art market. Core competencies in the art business world, from finance to marketing, are gained through courses that use the business-related tenets of economics to generate a modern, consistent, formal framework for strategic decision-making. In addition to learning with our faculty of thought leaders, scholars, and industry experts, students are given opportunities to engage professionals in the New York and international arts and cultural community and to learn directly from practitioners who are leaders in their field. Courses in art law, valuation, sales, strategy, marketing, and finance lay the foundation upon which students build a specialized program that suits their needs.
The Master’s degree is awarded for 30 taught credits across semesters one and two, as well as the completion of a 6-credit thesis or capstone project in the third semester.
In the first semester, Navigating the Art World brings students from all MAs together for faculty lectures and expert panel discussions to investigate the inextricable connections between art and business in today’s economy. For students starting the program in Fall 2020, this course is offered as a hybrid course with the option of in-person small group discussions. In addition to a full course load, students participate in two in-person or virtual field study trips in semesters one and two. In semester two, students undertake an internship or choose a Careers in the Art World option to gain practical skills and take one elective to broaden their expertise.
The MA in Art Business culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s Project (often a business plan or curatorial project). Students entering in Fall 2020 can choose to submit their work in the summer and thereby complete their studies within one year. Alternatively, they can extend their studies an additional semester and either transfer to the Institute’s campus in London or return to New York and pursue core courses in either Contemporary Art or Fine and Decorative Art and Design. Students entering in Spring 2021 must complete their project in Spring 2022.
Qualification, course duration and attendance options
- full time12 months
- Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
Course contact details
- Global Admissions
- +1 646 438 7234