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How Niche is This? Art History from Sotheby's

Sotheby’s Institute of Art is one of the finest institutions to learn about the various stages of the development of art. Read below for more details.
BY Resham Mukherjee |   17-09-2015

Courses in Art History have received a considerable traction among young modernists. Well known students include Prince William, who studied Art History at the University of St. Andrews as part of his Scottish MA degree, along with his now wife, Catherine. However, there are several reasons to pursue Art History, apart from the interesting classmates!
These courses are niche and cater to various individual interests. Before specializing, one gets to delve into the various stages of the history and development of art.

Today, there are both online and offline courses offered by premier Universities and other dedicated institutions.  The department of History of Arts in University of Oxford, for instance, offers online courses, while the department of the History of Art at Yale offers a wide range of courses in art, architecture, and visual culture.

Sotheby’s, the largest brokers of art, jewelry and other collectibles, also have an Institute of Art, which is renowned for courses in Art History. It has academic campuses in London, New York and Los Angeles. Courses are also conducted in in China across the mainland and in Hong Kong as well. Sotheby’s has an online campus too where students from all over the globe meet in a digital classroom.

Interested? Here is an overview of the programmes offered at various centres of the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Programmes of Study

London– In London, six Master's Degree programmes are offered –

  1. Art Business,
  2. Contemporary Art,
  3. Photography,
  4. Fine & Decorative Art,
  5. East Asian Art, and
  6. Contemporary Design.

Each programme has two semesters of full-time study in addition to a third semester of independent study to complete a research dissertation.

Seven 4-week intensive summer courses also take place each summer in London. Short and Executive Education courses take place throughout the year. Besides these, weekly and evening courses are also offered.

All postgraduate, semester and summer programmes in London are validated by the University of Manchester.

New York- The Master's Degree programmes are conducted in New York –

  1. Art Business,
  2. Contemporary Art, and
  3. American Fine and Decorative Art.
  4. Interior Design

Students can supplement their Master’s degree studies at the institute with Interior Design studies at the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID). Meanwhile the summer study program in New York typically offers 2 and 4-week courses in the areas of art business, contemporary art and art history.

Los Angeles - Sotheby’s Institute of Art – Los Angeles, offers a Collaborative Programme between Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Claremont Graduate University of Art.

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Financial Assistance
Sotheby's Institute of Art offers a range of financial assistance through both scholarships and grants for post-graduate programmes only.  All applicants must complete the Institute’s Financial Assistance Application Form, which is available to download from the website.

When to Apply
Applications for grants are considered throughout the year and have no formal application deadline. However, the institute claims that, as funds are limited, they encourage early submission.

Graduates of the Art History programme develop a range of soft skills – visual and critical awareness, quality communication, time management, and the ability to work independently, to name a few. These can translate into profitable careers across a range of sectors. Like most creative careers, however, experience counts as much as the degree. It is valuable to gain practical first hand knowledge in paid or voluntary environments.

Here are the most popular careers for Art History graduates -

Curators in museums, art galleries, auction houses; conservators; managerial positions in national trusts and heritage monuments; education officers in museums, and schools; journalists; lecturers; researchers; events organisers; etc.



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