The Fine and Decorative Art and Design curriculum is based on a simple belief: the fundamental currency of the art world is objects. The Master’s program examines the diverse cultural histories of objects, makers, patrons, and related markets, focusing on providing a strong foundation in the history of art and collecting, iconography and provenance, materials and techniques, represented and experienced on a global platform be it in the Americas, Europe, Asia or Africa.
Students learn how to engage directly with the marketplace and gain essential skills in connoisseurship, valuation, and curation, which are necessary to study and evaluate objects. Whether in sales, valuation, art history, or cultural institution management at museums, galleries, or auction houses — graduates of the Master’s degree program in Fine and Decorative Art and Design are prepared for a range of careers and leave with an expanded professional network. Download the Master’s prospectus.
Experiential learning Visits and international study trips are significant learning events, with the travel, seeing the art in situ and informal access to tutors serving to intensify the experience.
Signature discussions In depth class discussions with assessing cultural versus financial value drivers being a signature theme.
Focused subject areas MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design expertly investigates issues of provenance, connoisseurship, authenticity, cataloguing, material, technique, artistic process, and market trends.
Burgeoning career paths Curated resources and professional development support is on offer to formulate career goals and develop strategies to secure art market opportunities.
Director, New York
A.M. Richard, an art and design specialist, is a curator, art historian and advisor. She has lectured extensively on the topic of connoisseurship, collecting, conservation, provenance, emerging markets and the related subtleties of art and decorative arts appraising (American Association of Museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, F.I.T. SUNY, Pratt Institute, Pace University). Learn more...Read More
Program Director, MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design
Bernard Vere specializes in art from the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. His work explores the connection between technological advances and the rise of the metropolis in modernist art, particularly in its implications for the individual subject. Learn more...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 Fine and Decorative Art students have included Italy. The travel week covered exhibitions and events in Turin and Venice, including the Venice Biennale, and private collections.
As the headquarters of Modernism, our New York City location and program curricula brings students in direct contact with art and the built environment, from architecture and design to murals. The program provides students with opportunities to experience some of the world’s most iconic private collections and exclusive institutions such as the MoMA, Met, and Frick, by offering first-hand interactions with objects and the art world leaders who work with them. In New York City, European ideals are imported where they take on a new set of possibilities. Students will be at the forefront of this cultural exchange, experiencing the unique blend of global perspectives and local energy that make New York City a one-of-a-kind destination for art and design education.
Former MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design students have successfully pursued careers in auction houses, art dealerships, art fairs, museum and gallery curation, academia, or interior design. With New York City as the backdrop, students enrolled on this course will gain an advanced academic perspective and enhanced professional acumen. Studying in this vibrant and culturally rich city provides the unique opportunity to be immersed in the world of historical art and design.
MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design students analyze a range of objects dating from the 17th century to the 21st century. Students examine objects from a stylistic point of view, but not neglecting the wider historical, social, economic and cultural factors which have influenced the production of these artworks. The program aims to develop a critical understanding of the terms “fine art,” “decorative art,” and “design” and of the synergies and divergences between art objects across a range of media and periods. Students will spend much of the course looking at objects in a variety of settings, including online and in-person at museums, art fairs, auction houses, and collections.
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 over the course of the third semester.
The MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design culminates in a capstone project which can take the form of a traditional, long-form academic thesis, or a more flexible Master’s 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 Contemporary Art.
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.