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VIDEO: Meet Kathy Battista, Director of Contemporary Art

MA Contemporary Art, New York

New York City is home to the largest concentration of art galleries, auction houses, museums, foundations, art publications, and other visual arts organizations in the world.

The city’s financial resources, its cultural diversity, its vast networks of artists, collectors, and arts professionals are unsurpassed. These features make New York a key hub of the global art market and a vibrant and inspiring place to study contemporary art.

The program in Contemporary Art provides an in-depth analysis of works of art from the post-war period to present. Emphasis is given to the formal, historical, and critical analysis of art of this period.

In addition to lectures and seminars, this program of study includes regular visits to galleries, museums, and private collections in New York and further afield, both nationally and internationally. The program combines academic education with professional training in order to enable students to interpret a wide array of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, photography, and time-based media, as well as performance and ephemeral work.

This dynamic program prepares graduates to pursue a variety of careers in the art world, from working in commercial galleries, private collections, museums and foundations, to establishing independent galleries, working as curators, appraisers, critics or editors. Our graduates keep in touch via the Institute’s alumni network to share information and resources.

Click here to download programme prospectus.

Core Curriculum

All of the Master’s programmes at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London and New York are enhanced by a core curriculum that provides a powerful set of professional skills and critical understandings for our students to mobilize at the completion of their degrees. 

Course dates

Curriculum at a glance

September - December, 2013
  • Contemporary Art from 1945 – Present
  • Theories of Post-War Art
  • Research Methodologies: Writing about Contemporary Art
  • The Work of Art, from Studio to Museum
  • Field Study I (e.g. DIA Beacon; Mexico City, UAE, Venice Biennale)

January - May, 2014
  • Global Art Production
  • Latin American Art (elective)
  • Theories of Contemporary Art
  • Research Methodology: Thesis Seminar
  • Curating Contemporary Art
  • Field Study II (e.g. Dubai Art Fair, UAE, Mexico City)

June - October, 2014
  • Thesis (MA only); (6 credits)

    Course fees

    Programme fees 2014-2015

    Third Semester Option

    Semester 1: $21,981 
    Semester 2: $21,981
    Semester 3: $21,981

    Thesis Track Option

    Semester 1: $21,981 
    Semester 2: $21,981
    Thesis supervision fee: $7,100

    Travel Study Fees: $6,000 per year

    How to Apply

    Click here to learn how to apply.


    Click here to download programme prospectus.

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    “Sotheby’s Institute of Art solidified my academic background with intensive coursework. The worldwide travel and professional development helped me to gain the contacts and knowledge necessary to successfully operate in a global art market.” 
    Trevor Freedland, Registrar/Post Production Supervisor, Fred Torres Collaborations, New York MA Contemporary Art, 2009

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