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Take a Voyage of Discovery at Sotheby’s Institute of Art

The ability to see and to read an art object — whether a painting, sculpture, chair or vase, whether from the 16th century or the 21st century, from Asia or Europe — is an essential skill for working in the professional art world.

Leon Polk Smith, “Constellation Twelve Circles” (1969)

Art is a destination. It speaks a language of color, shape, setting, scale and, most importantly, ideas. We learn the language so that when we encounter new ideas and perspectives, they do not escape us.

It starts with the art. Intense engagement with art is the start of a voyage of discovery; it initiates an investigation into the wider cultural, social and economic contexts, and the subsequent story of its ownership, display and use, its critical reception and interpretation. The ability to see and to read an art object — whether a painting, sculpture, chair or vase, whether from the 16th century or the 21st century, from Asia or Europe — is an essential skill for working in the professional art world.

It expands into the world. One of the paradoxical effects of globalization is a growing interest in specific locations, their populations, histories and traditions; and that interest is keenly felt by many in a globalizing art world. At a time when movement and place are central artistic concerns, we too need to move from place to place to view artworks in the locations for which they were made. To study an artwork is to recognize that all works enter into vital dialogues with their settings.

Learn more about Sotheby’s Institute of Art, the leader in art business education since 1969. Explore the renowned Master’s degrees, short courses, and myriad ways to immerse yourself in the art world. Start your journey today at a campus in London, New York, Los Angeles, or online.

Sotheby’s Institute students at König Galerie during Gallery Weekend Berlin
Sotheby’s Institute MA Contemporary Art students in Venice for the Biennale
Sotheby’s Institute MA Art Business students at Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht