As the landscape for art consumption expands, the contemporary art market’s explosive growth calls for a more in-depth look into the role of the gallery. This course explores the fundamentals of establishing and running a contemporary gallery in today’s interconnected art market. From business strategies and day-to-day operations – including ideas for using new technologies to drive sales and engagement – to key considerations for cultivating clients and managing artists, this course provides an invaluable introduction to the high-stakes world of commercial art galleries.
“Studying at the Institute influenced our art world career. It really gave us the foundations, skills and confidence needed to open our art gallery. From understanding logistics behind running a gallery, learning about how to analyze and price artwork, curate an exhibition, exploring ways to use technology to elevate our value proposition, and much more, it really allowed us to structure the project and turn our idea into a concrete plan of action.”
– Ranji Safarian and Edward Van Houtte ’21, Founders, EDJI Gallery
To recognize the different types of commercial galleries, and articulate how a potential artistic program would fit into the gallery landscape.
To understand the variety of day-to-day logistics and roles that are required for a successful gallery business.
To leverage new technologies to create engaging digital gallery content.
Consultant Lecturer, London
Ed Leeson is Associate Director of The Residence Gallery, London. He also lectures specializing in modern and contemporary art, its markets and wider cultural studies. He is a summer course leader at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and a staff lecturer at TATE. He has organized exhibitions at galleries and project spaces across London.Read More
Day 1: Gain an in-depth insight into the primary and secondary art markets and join a gallery director to discover how to establish a commercial gallery.
Day 2: Delve deeper into gallery organizational practices, including the complexities of consignments and the logistics of shipping and insurance.
Day 3: Find out about the emerging gallery scene from a leading gallerist and explore the intricacies of working with artists, including price setting and production issues.
Day 4: Discover the opportunities and pitfalls of art fairs from a gallerist’s perspective and learn about how galleries can stand out from the crowd through marketing and social media.
Day 5: Visit a selection of cutting-edge galleries and art spaces on a day trip to Margate and round off your learning by discussing different institutional models, cultural place-making, innovative business practices, and the rise of regional contemporary art hubs.
Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
English Language Requirement
Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English.
Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older.
For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.