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Experience the business side of art, delving into the theories, practices, history, and structural elements that define the art market.

The global art market is the circulatory system of the art world. Business transactions are the lifeblood of the system, moving art from the studio to the gallery, the auction room, the collector’s home, and the museum. Along the way, artists, dealers, art advisors, curators, art handlers, insurers, and auction house experts engage in a complicated dance to build and sustain the value of the work and the careers and interests of all parties. Our pioneering Art Business program provides a vocational bridge for art history students into this vast commercial art world. Art Business is now a developed academic discipline in which Sotheby’s Institute continues to play the leading role. Balancing academic rigor with real-world applications in a dynamic learning environment with privileged access to key art institutions — this program equips graduates with the skills and knowledge in art markets and business management, entrepreneurship, connoisseurship, and collecting.

Academic Structure

The MA in Art Business was the first program of its kind and our innovative curriculum continues to set the industry standard. New York is our classroom — the center of the international art world — with hundreds of galleries, museums, and art fairs, plus field study travel to global art destinations, such as Miami, Venice, Paris, Mexico City, Turin, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Balancing academic rigor with real-world applications in a dynamic environment, the program provides an alternative to traditional academic models of study and stays in sync with the rapidly-evolving global art market.

Core competencies in the art business world, from finance to marketing, are gained through courses that use the business-related tenets of economics to generate a modern, consistent, formal framework for strategic decision-making. In addition to learning under academic faculty, students are given opportunities to engage professionals in the New York arts and cultural community and to learn directly from practitioners who are leaders in their field. Courses in art law, valuation, sales, strategy, marketing, and finance lay the foundation upon which students build a specialized program that suits their needs.

The Details
  • Prospectus


    Click here for a copy of the MA prospectus.
    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.
    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 semesters one and two, students participate in two field study trips. In semester two, students undertake an internship to gain practical skills and take one elective to broaden their expertise.
    Note: Course offerings subject to change
  • Faculty


    Brendan Burns has spent over 20 years at leading technology, graphic arts and financial institutions including, 1000|Museums, Moody’s Investors Service, Salomon Brothers, and AdOne, an Internet software pioneer. For the past 10 years Burns has managed consulting, advisory and strate- gic growth assignments under Stepping Stone Capital Partners and Stepstone Art Resources. Since 2004, Burns has been a professor and senior lecturer in the Entrepreneurship Program at Columbia Business School.
    Judith Prowda is an attorney, mediator, and arbitrator focused on art law, copyright, entertainment and commercial law. She is a founding member of Stropheus Art Law, a collective of art law and business specialists who offer unbundled services to the art community. She also participated in a small working group of lawyers who created the Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA) in The Hague.
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  • Admissions


    Now accepting applications for MA programs starting in fall 2020. For admissions requirements and an overview of the application process, please click here.
    Space is limited so we strongly encourage qualified candidates to submit their applications as early as possible.

    Final Application Deadline for Fall 2020 is May 18, 2020.

  • Tuition


    Semester 1: $23,300
    Semester 2: $23,300
    Semester 3: $13,300 (offsite)* or $23,300 (onsite)**
    *Offsite: capstone (thesis or project), can be undertaken remotely or while working
    **Onsite: includes a third semester of coursework, capstone, and field study
    For more information on tuition and program fees, click here.
    For Gainful Employment Disclosure for this program, click here.
  • Field Study Trips

    Field Study Trips

    In addition to frequent visits to art and cultural destination in and near New York City, the MA in Art Business program includes two field study trips during which students become immersed in the local art community. The trips contextualize art market, art historical, and art object information through daily visits to fairs, galleries, private collections, museums, artists’ studios, and more. Past trips have included Art Basel Miami Beach, The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), Venice Biennale, Art Dubai, the Sharjah Biennial, and SP-Arte in São Paulo.
  • Questions?


    Some of your questions may be answered in the frequently asked questions section of our website. If you do not see your question, we are happy to help. All prospective students are encouraged to contact our Admissions Office to schedule a one-on-one information session to learn more about the program, the application process, tuition, financial aid, and more.
    Email us:
    Call us: +1.646.438.7234
MA Art Business Meet Jenny Gibbs, MA Art Business Faculty

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