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Go behind-the-scenes to learn about the inner workings of the auction world. This course will provide an insider’s view of the way art that is bought and sold on a global basis, including tips on how to buy and sell at auction. This course will survey the various positions held at an auction house, including cataloguer, specialist, and department head, including the roles they play in consigning and researching works, establishing price estimates, managing sale viewings and cultivating clients, culminating in the auction itself. This course will also illuminate the complex mechanics of auctioning works, from the process of bidding to when the hammer comes down, as well as the ways in which private sales and online platforms have changed the landscape of traditional art auctions.

What you will learn…

  • To understand how art auctions work as well as the key positions in the auction house.
  • To grasp the essential terminology and concepts associated with the auction business and the complexity of the auction process itself.
  • To evaluate elements of pricing and valuation, as well as how to buy and sell successfully at auction.
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    2-week course
    July 22–August 2, 2019
    Monday–Friday; 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
  • Faculty


    Betsy Thomas, Faculty, M.A. Art Business, Online Courses and Summer Institute, New York

    Click here to view all of our faculty members. Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders, and professional experts in the art world.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • The Global Art Auction Market

    • Key Players and Positions in the Auction World

    • The Auction Process from Consignment to Sale

    • Key Auction Terminology

    • The Role of the Auctioneer

    • How the Sale Process at Auction Differs from Galleries

    • New Online Platforms and the Future of Auctions

    These topics are subject to change.
  • Further Program Details

    Further Program Details

    Summer - New York is part of Sotheby's Institute's continuing education programming and offers short, non-credit courses. We encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to some of the questions you may have about summer courses in New York, including international concerns and basic course advisement.

    Our Accommodations page provides essential information and external resources for students researching their options.
  • Course Fees & Enrollment

    Course Fees & Enrollment


    Add a second Summer New York course at a reduced rate:

    • Additional 4-week course +$3350 ($5700 Total)

    • Additional 2-week course +$1950 ($4300 Total)

    • Additional 1-week course +$1350 ($3700 Total)

    Tuition includes classroom and program lectures, site visits, and additional programming.
    Tuition does not include accommodation or travel.

    Enroll now
    Terms and Conditions
  • Contact Information

    Contact Information

    For further information or course advisement, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor
    Tel: 212-897-6644 Or Request Information

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