Taught course

Fine and Decorative Art and Design - New York

Institution
Sotheby's Institute of Art · Fine and Decorative Art
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution by the date on which they enroll at the Institute.

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. Applicants without an art history background might receive conditional offers based on completing pre-requisite coursework.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and analytical skills. For international students, an IELTS score of level 7, TOEFL 100 IBT, or its equivalent is required.
  • Professional experience is not a required element of our application process, however relevant employment and/or internships enhance a student’s application.

All prospective students must apply using the online application. A complete application includes:

  • Academic transcripts/mark sheets: from all undergraduate and post-secondary academic institutions attended. An official copy of the transcript, indicating that the degree has been awarded, must be sent directly from the student’s institution to Sotheby’s Institute in a sealed envelope.
    • Unofficial copies of transcripts are sufficient for the application process and for issuing decisions. The documents must be in English. The admissions department will require an official transcript once you enroll in the program.
    • Official international transcripts must be accompanied by certified course by course credential evaluations. The evaluation will convert the grades and GPA into the United States grading scale. For more information, please visit the World Education Services website: wes.org
  • Two (2) letters of reference: References from an academic or professional contact. For those candidates with work experience, at least one reference should be professional.
  • A personal statement (1,000 words maximum): Please tell us about yourself, your reasons for your choice of program, any relevant academic or art related experience, and your future career goals.
  • A writing sample: A graded paper of no fewer than 1,000 words from an art history or art-related course or 1,000-word original essay or mock review written for an art publication or website. Footnotes are required for any citations.
  • A curriculum vitae or résumé
  • An English language proficiency exam (required for non-native English speakers): A minimum score of IELTS level 7 or TOEFL 100 IBT will be considered. If your undergraduate coursework was conducted in English or if you have extensive English-speaking professional experience, it may be possible to waive the English language proficiency exam, upon review of your application. Note: TOEFL and IELTS scores expire two years after the test date.
  • Payment of the application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $100 (USD) is required for the 2020 online application. Applications are not considered complete until the fee has been paid.

GRE test scores are not required, but are accepted. The GRE code for Sotheby’s Institute of Art is 4161.

Months of entry

September

Course content

The Fine and Decorative Art and Design curriculum is based on a simple belief: the fundamental currency of the art world is objects. The Master’s program examines the diverse cultural histories of objects, makers, and markets of each period, focusing on providing a strong foundation in the history of art, iconography, materials, and techniques in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Students learn how to engage directly with the marketplace and gain essential skills in connoisseurship, valuation, and curation, which are necessary to study and evaluate objects. Whether in sales, valuation, art history, or cultural institution management at museums, galleries, or auction houses — graduates of the Master’s degree program in Fine and Decorative Art and Design are prepared for a range of careers and leave with an expanded professional network.

Academic Structure

MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design students analyze a range of objects dating from the 17th century to the 21st century. Students examine objects from a stylistic point of view, but not neglecting the wider historical, social, economic and cultural factors which have influenced the production of these art works. The program aims to develop critical understanding of the terms “fine art,” “decorative art,” and “design” and of the synergies and divergences between art objects across a range of media and periods. Students will spend much of the course looking at objects in a variety of settings, including online and conditions permitting in-person at museums, art fairs, auction houses, and collections. Students are encouraged to formulate opinions on the aesthetic, cultural, social and commercial value, of what they see. The knowledge and experience gained equips them for employment in many different areas of the international art world and alumni can be found working in auction houses, museums, commercial galleries, financial institutions, private and public foundations in many different countries.

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 over the course of 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. In addition to a full course load, students participate in two in-person or virtual field study trips in semesters one and two. Students may elect to undertake an internship to gain practical skills or take one elective to broaden their expertise.

The MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s Project. Students may also elect to 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 Art Business or Contemporary Art.

Fees and funding

Sotheby’s Institute of Art offers partial-tuition scholarships to qualified domestic and international candidates. Scholarship awards are based on need and merit. Before you can apply for a scholarship, you must first apply for and hold an offer for a Master’s degree program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. The scholarship application will require filling out a basic form, sending in required documentation. Merit will be based on program application materials submitted. Scholarship awards are not guaranteed and award decisions are final.

Scholarship Application Includes:

  • Domestic Students: Scholarship Form, FAFSA, Two consecutive years of IRS tax forms (additional documentation may be required including parents’ IRS tax forms)
  • International Students: Scholarship Form, Equivalent of proof of income (additional documentation may be required including parents’ financial information)

Scholarship Deadlines:

  • January 2022 applicants: October 21, 2021
  • September 2022 applicants: March 1, 2022

Financial Aid Opportunities

SIA-NY participates in Title IV Financial Aid Program and commonly works with Sallie Mae.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    15 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Admissions
Email
admissionsny@sia.edu
Phone
+1.646.438.7234