Sotheby's Institute Of Art - New York

Located in the centre of Manhattan students at the Institute have easy access to New York's rich cultural and historical resources as well as to many of the world's leading galleries and museums. Through Sotheby's auction house, we provide students with privileged access to pre-sale viewings, seminars with experts and handling sessions in which art objects are examined in detail. In addition, students visit the many commercial galleries, artists' studios, and museums that have made New York the centre of the international art world and such a unique and vibrant place to study art.
In New York we offer three Master's Degree programmes, in Art Business, Contemporary Art and American Fine and Decorative Art.

A two-semester Graduate Certificate is also available to students who complete the required coursework for the MA but who do not wish to write a Master's Degree Thesis.

A range of Summer Study Courses and Professional Studies and Public Programs are also offered.

New York

United States

570 Lexington Avenue, 6th Floor
New York
Phone: +1.646.438.7234
Website: http://www.sothebysinstit

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Department and information about the department

Our Approach:

Hands-on Art History
Students learn through actual first-hand examination of works of art in the galleries and museums of New York and in private collections.

This first-hand looking at works of art is the cornerstone of our approach to teaching and has been a distinguishing feature of Sotheby's Institute of Art for 37 years.

Individual Attention
Our faculty includes scholars, curators, art professionals, collectors and Sotheby's own specialists whose outstanding academic and professional credentials personify the incomparable breadth and depth of the course.

Faculty members are available to provide guidance on both academic and career-related subjects.

Practical Training for a Career
All of our programs are designed to prepare students for a career in the international art world. The Institute also works with students to help them find internships at Sotheby's auction house or in galleries and art institutions.

Sessions on career opportunities are an integral part of the curriculum and include exposure and introductions to the vast array of professionals in the art world who share profiles on t...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description

The New York programmes are led by respected academics and art professionals who are noted leaders in their field.
Additional lecturers include specialists at Sotheby's, whose training and experience in the art marketplace imparts an immediacy to the learning process.

Drawing upon the remarkable New York art scene, the diverse faculty, which comprises an exceptional group of teachers and scholars, offers theoretical insights and experience-based learning opportunities to guide students toward rewarding careers in the international art world..

Information For  Postgraduates

Master's Degree Programmes in New York
Graduate Certificate
Summer Study in New York
Professional Studies and Public Programs in New York
Sotheby's Institute Online

Master's Degree Programmes in New York

Art Business

The Art Business Master's Degree Programme prepares students for careers in the international art enterprise. It combines knowledge and appreciation of art with an understanding of the international art markets and professional practices in the asset-based sector of the art world.
Various professions such as auctioneer, dealer, consultant, curator, investor, insurer, lawyer and critic are explored, and relevant professional art-world practice is studied. This includes marketing, the media, information technology, art content production, business communications, investment, insurance, valuation, art law and economics.

Contemporary Art

The Master's Degree Programme in Contemporary Art involves students in the study of art and its relati...  [ Read All ]


The Institute has over 6,000 alumni worldwide, many of whom direct galleries, work in museums, foundations and auction houses, or pursue careers in art journalism, consulting and related professions.
Many others have become collectors or enrich their lives with an informed passion for art.

Graduates become members of our Alumni Association, gaining access to a range of services which help them with their careers.

Student Facilities

The Sotheby's Institute of Art Library in New York is a specialised resource that supports teaching at the Institute. The library provides key resources for the taught elements of the graduate-level courses during the first two semesters.

These resources enable students to fulfill course work including research papers, group projects and cataloguing exercises.

Location: 570 Lexington Avenue – 6th floor

Contact: or (212) 517-2780

Library CollectionThe library has a collection of approximately 5,500 books and other publications covering the fine and decorative arts, including painting, drawing, ceramics, furniture, interiors and design.

Coverage of specific subject areas includes art business, art law, contemporary art, museum collections, exhibition catalogues, patronage and connoisseurship.

The library holds the last five years of Sotheby's New York sales catalogues relevant to the academic programmes offered.

The library subscribes to fifty current journal titles in hardcopy format including Artforum, Art in America, Art Newspaper and Frieze.
Library CatalogueLiberty4 is t...  [ Read All ]

Student Testimonials

The Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s intensive art history courses and insider’s access to the world of contemporary art gave me the extensive scholarly background and the professional savvy I needed to find a full-time job directly upon finishing coursework. I am so grateful for the experience I had at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and can think of no better or quicker way to feel entirely prepared for the professional art world.
Kristin Nelson
MA Contemporary Art, New York , 2008

Each day of the American Fine and Decorative Art course was unique; with lectures, gallery visits, handling sessions and house tours, all led by top professionals in each field. I was exposed to so many diverse areas and career choices within my field, it seemed as if my opportunities upon graduation were infinite.
Christa Pirl
MA American Fine and Decorative Art, New York, 2008

The Sotheby’s Institute of Art program is unique in that it offers an academic program in a business environment allowing students to experience facets of the art world that might otherwise remain a mystery.
Carly K. Krum
MA American Fine & Decorative Art, New Y...  [ Read All ]

How To Apply

Postgraduate Programmes

All graduate programs (MA & Graduate Certificate) require the completion of a BA degree or equivalent.
The usual pre-requisite for graduate study at the Institute is a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in Art History. Exceptions to the undergraduate art history requirement can be made, based upon an applicant's experience in the visual arts or the relevance of other areas of study.

Enrolment is taken on a rolling basis throughout the year. However, we encourage those interested to apply at the earliest possible date to assure sufficient time for consideration.
Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate-level programmes attended must be sent directly to the Institute's Registrar from an applicant's college or university and must be received prior to final action by the Committee on Admissions.
English Language
Applicants whose first language is not English must submit documentation of appropriate English proficiency test scores.
The minimum requirements for all graduate programmes are fluent writte...  [ Read All ]

Visit us (open days)

Open Days

We regularly hold Open Days in London and New York where you have the opportunity to hear about our courses first-hand from our faculty and ask questions. These days are designed to give you an understanding about how we teach and what you will learn as a student at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Come and meet members of Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s faculty and learn more about our range of graduate-level programmes.

To find out about our next open day visit our website for details.  

Request a prospectus (Number, e-mail or follow link)