This program provides an in-depth academic understanding of contemporary art and fosters the professional skills needed to work in the field. Contemporary art is examined in relation to its makers and its making, the cultural and critical ideas that informed it, and as art object: its curation and display, entry into museum culture, place in art history, and status as an art commodity. Studies are anchored in the close study of visual art and critical thought, with classroom learning by leading faculty and guest speakers complemented by faculty-led, specially-designed visits to the galleries, museums, and artists’ studios of New York City and by international Field Study. Trained to be conversant with art objects and ideas as well as the commercial and institutional contexts in which they are embedded, students are prepared for a wide range of careers in the art world. Download the Master’s prospectus.
Experiential learning International study trips, seeing and discussing art in situ with industry professionals are part of the Institute’s signature hands-on approach and teaching style.
Exploration and Discovery The unique opportunity to learn directly from experts and gain an intimate understanding of art market key players, mechanisms, and emerging trends.
Renowned speakers and thought leaders Guest lecturers and site visit hosts allow you to meet art world cognoscenti and expand your network. Past speakers for this program have included Ian Wardropper; Amy Cappellazzo; Maxwell L; Anderson, Thelma Golden; Jerry Saltz; Arnold Lehman; Kate Rothko; Jamie Martin; Dominique Levy; Matthew Bogdanos.
Build a portfolio Signature student projects include designing themed auction sales catalogues, from curating, establishing provenance and literature notes, to condition and pre-sale estimates for each lot.
Faculty, MA Contemporary Art, New York
Morgan Falconer is a critic and art historian. Educated at the University of Leeds, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, he completed a Ph.D. on American modernist culture at University College London. He recently completed a history of painting after 1945 entitled Painting Beyond Pollock, published by Phaidon in March 2015.Read More
Faculty, MA Contemporary Art, New York
Ágnes Berecz focuses on transnational exchanges and collaborative, multimedia practices in postwar and contemporary art. Her most recent research project (“Consumed by Play: The Politics of the Transformable Work of Art”), published by the Kemper Art Museum of the Washington University in 2020, dealt with the participatory, ludic practices of the decade-long, transnational collaboration, Edition MAT.Read More
Field study is a hallmark of the Master’s programs, taking graduate students around the globe to explore established and emerging markets during key events and with an itinerary ranging from art fairs to visits to artist studios and private collections. Previous field study destinations for Contemporary Art students have included Italy. The travel week covered exhibitions and events in Turin and Venice, including the Venice Biennale.
As an international cultural destination and commercial center, our New York City location is designed to immerse students within the global art sphere. Home to hundreds of galleries, museums, and a community of contemporary art’s leading critics and curators, intersections with artists through studio visits and networking with curators, critics, and collectors is the starting point for a broader conversation that takes place in the classroom and throughout the City.
Contemporary Art students often have a prior degree in art history or some work experience in the art world, others have a keen personal interest in contemporary art and want to transition into a deeper analytical understanding of the field. They are an enormously diverse student body, coming from all corners of the globe, and range from recent college graduates to established professionals or collectors, creating a discourse and network that enhances students’ multiple perspectives on topics.
Designed to immerse students in all aspects of the contemporary art scene, this program provides privileged access to arts professionals and guest speakers drawn from every sector of the industry. The program’s first semester supplies foundations in the study of objects, ideas, histories, and exhibitions. In the second semester, students examine the history of art since 2000; survey key institutions — galleries, auction houses, and museums — through which contemporary art flows. A course on business skills covers key areas in art law, commerce, and fine art valuation.
The Master’s degree is awarded for 30 credits across semesters one and two, as well as the completion of a 6-credit thesis or capstone project in the third semester.
The MA in Contemporary Art culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s Project (often a business plan or curatorial project). Students may also elect to extend their studies an additional semester and either transfer to the Institute’s campus in London or return to New York and pursue core courses in either Art Business or Fine and Decorative Art and Design.
SEPTEMBER 2023 ENTRY: September 2023 – December 2024
Semester 1: 15 credits
Semester 2: 15 credits
Semester 3: 6 credits
Tuition: $1,878 per credit
Travel Fee: Each field study trip typically ranges from $3,800 to $5,000 according to destination. Travel fees are indicative only and subject to change.
Materials Fee: $824
International Student Fee: $206
For more information on tuition and program fees, click here.
Download the Master’s degree prospectus for an in-depth look at the curriculum and what to expect this academic year.