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This eight-part course explores the current (and future) landscape of the art world to help you map out your career path within this ever-evolving industry.

Many individuals in the art world express the desire to pursue (or progress) their career. But what are the key qualifications and vocational skills that will help you succeed in this industry?

This course will take a balanced view of the many challenges and opportunities emerging in the art world at this truly historic and transformative moment. With a keen focus on emerging trends, particularly those that are likely to endure and redefine the industry long term, students will learn first-hand the future roles that will be highest in demand, in both the commercial and public sectors.

The traditional disciplines of art history, curation, acquisitions, conservation, and outreach will also be viewed through new lenses, as students learn the tools needed to deal with current issues including racial discrimination and sustainability, therefore preparing them for “the next normal.”

Organized around a series of eight expert-led lectures, this course will provide insight drawn from commercial galleries, museums, and cultural organizations. The course will include discussions with high-profile experts from the sector, providing a deeper understanding in each subject. Live Q&A sessions will supplement your learning at every step.

This Intensive Course consists of live-streamed lectures and discussions. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas.

Students will learn:

  • How the pandemic is permanently shaping the ways art is bought, sold, and experienced.
  • To understand the roles that are the most resilient within the art world, in the commercial and public sectors.
  • How to examine the current issues and disparities in the art world, and practical ways of addressing them.
  • To understand emerging perspectives in art curation and art collecting.
  • How to identify and harness opportunities for change, from racial discrimination to sustainability.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    November 17 - December 10, 2020
    Tuesdays and Thursdays | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. GMT
    (1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT)
    Course Fee: £595.00
    All online Intensive Courses are developed in London by Sotheby's Institute faculty, programming staff, and industry experts.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Topics covered in this course may include:

    • Introduction to Employers and Professions and Future Career Prospects in the Art World

    • Curators vs Registrars

    • Conservation & Art Installation

    • The Future of Art Fairs, Galleries & Online Viewing

    • Sustainable Collecting and Collection Sharing

    • Commissions in the Public Realm

    • Art's Carbon Footprint, Museums

    • Administration & Governance

  • How It Works

    How It Works

    Our online Intensive Courses are designed to enrich and deepen your understanding of a specific art world subject in an accelerated and dynamic format. The courses are ideal for undergraduates, career changers, art professionals, and art lovers seeking to learn more about art and cultural history or to acquire specific knowledge/skills.
    Led by art professionals drawn from our global faculty, these courses provide participants with expert insight and practical skills through a combination of livestreamed lectures and group discussion. Course materials and lecture recordings can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via Sotheby’s Institute’s learning platform – Canvas. Canvas is an intuitive, self-contained environment that requires no additional software.
    Once you successfully complete the course, you will receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
  • Faculty


    Over the past twenty years, Renée Pfister has gained a wealth of experience through her longstanding professional involvement with museums and the art world.
    She works as an independent art and gallery consultant and draws upon her international network of artists, galleries, museum professionals, auction houses, collectors, and educators, to develop and deliver projects of the highest quality on behalf of her clients.
    As well as advising and managing diverse projects for a number of clients in the private, commercial, and public sector she also lectures at City University and Sotheby's Institute of Art.
  • Register


    Click here to register.

    This course is listed under the Intensive Course option in the online application. Online Intensive Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
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