Master's Program in Art, Law and Business
Note on Higher Education from 2020-2021
Christie’s will cease providing higher education programs in New York and London from 2021. This means that we will not be taking new students for the Master’s programs from September 2020. Further information can be found in the press release.
Christie’s Education will remain committed to its current students until they successfully complete their studies, and maintain its lifelong commitment to alumni. The alumni association and global alumni services will continue to be made available through the normal channels and platforms.
The information below refers to the current 2019-2020 program (Closed for Admissions)
This full-time M.A. program provides an in-depth study of the relationships between art, law and business and how this dynamic interaction influences the commercial art world. It combines rigorous academic coursework with hands-on practical training and workshops.
Emphasizing practice over theory, the program introduces you to a series of foundational tools, skills and concepts of art history, art business and art law. Through a combination of coursework, workshops, guest presentations, domestic and international site visits and internships you are given the means to build your professional infrastructure. The practical skills and conceptual frameworks learned at Christie’s Education serve our graduates well as they embark on diverse and meaningful careers throughout the art market ecosystem.
The core pedagogical strategy of the program is based on the premise that utilizing the lenses of commerce, law and history to view art and the art market will serve to enhance our understanding of how the global art market functions. Through this non-traditional approach to the study and examination of art and art markets, you will develop rare insights into the dynamics that influence the markets.
Our program goal is to produce graduates who are conversant in the languages of art and commerce and who have the necessary transferable skills to make a smooth transition into the global art world. With unparalleled access to art market specialists and professionals you will learn from, and interface with, the current leading practitioners in the art market.
As part of the curriculum, students will travel to domestic and international art destinations to meet with a diverse range of professionals working across the art market landscape including art fairs, museums, art business conferences, galleries, art advisories and investment businesses.
Over 15 months of intensive study, students take a combined 40 credits to complete their degree. The program concludes with a final term that is exclusively focused on a full-time internship
and an independent capstone project that are both instrumental in helping students to activate their professional careers in the art market.
In preparation for careers in the art world, students will:
- Gain advanced understanding of the structure and inner workings of the commercial art world
- Acquire in-depth knowledge of the art auction business
- Develop transferable professional business skills in finance, accounting, marketing and strategy
- Build personal art business networks through extensive opportunities to interface with leading art world professionals across the art market landscape
- Become familiar with current research resources for art law and art business
- Be prepared for employment in the commercial art world and the creative industries worldwide
- Become conversant in the major trends and issues in contemporary art
All students participate in a series of study trips to major international art fairs or other art events. Students will interact with the art and network with professionals while applying their newly acquired skills in a real-world setting.
Tuition and Fees
The full schedule for tuition and fees for the 2019-20 program is available here.
The Professional Development Workshop Series that is available for all of our Master’s students is designed to complement their study. Our Career Services Officers strive to provide students with the necessary skills and exciting opportunities to find a meaningful career following graduation.
Approximately 90% of our graduates progress to a commerce career.
For further information, please contact:
T +1 212 355 1501
Art Business I, II, III
One of the foundational courses in the Art, Law and Business program, Art Business (I, II and III) is intended to provide students with a strong foundation of qualitative, quantitative and analytical skills necessary to run an art business. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the commercial and financial markets in general and the art market in detail.
Art Business gives students the tools they need to critically assess the markets qualitatively and quantitatively. The Art Business course investigates the dynamics of the art market(s) within the current international economy. Topics covered include: economics, finance, accounting, statistics, spreadsheet construction, marketing and strategy.
3 credits per term (9 credits total)
Language of Contemporary Art I, II, III
This course surveys the history and development of global art from the 1960s to the present. Its goal is to provide students with the necessary art historical background to understand the principles and formal components of contemporary art.
The course’s scope includes both the Western canon as well as emerging art centers worldwide. The course progresses both thematically and chronologically to introduce students to major artists and movements from across the globe. It also includes lectures on watershed exhibitions that defined a moment as well as lectures on specific artists. Students are assessed through mid-term and final exams.
2 credits per term (6 credits total)
Art Law, I, II, III
The Art Law course investigates the role that law plays in the commercial art world. It explores key legal instruments used in transactions, the roles of national and international legislation in the governance of the art market and the effects these have on the free movement of cultural objects between key international selling centers.
These courses provide students with knowledge over a range of areas in international art business including art law and taxation, appraisal/valuation, intellectual property rights, ethics and corporate social responsibility, use of information and communication technology
2 credits per term (6 credits total)
Mapping the Art World
The goal of this course is to familiarize student with the institutions that have historically played an essential role in shaping the art market including private dealers, galleries, collectors, auction houses, critics and museums.
We examine the central figures of the global contemporary art ecosystem. You will learn about dealers and gallerists with global footprints, advisors who travel the world to attend art fairs, curators of international exhibitions and biennials, and artists who show their work around the world. You will come to understand and contextualize the issues central to the art world as a part of what is now a global art economy.
In addition to lectures and presentations, you will attend weekly field studies in the galleries of Christie’s where you will engage directly with some of the finest specialists of fine and decorative art in the world. These field studies give rare insight into the important art market issues of valuation, authenticity and evolving global collecting patterns. Specific emphasis is on the inner workings of the auction house.
The class concludes with a study trip to Art Basel Miami where you will have the opportunity to engage directly with art market professionals.
Marketing the Art World
This course introduces student to the practical application of marketing strategies for the arts within the context of the ever-increasing competitive economic environment. The course surveys a variety of
marketing techniques used in the art world, from audience research and campaign development to advertising and branding, as well as publications and emerging online tools. You will study marketing approaches across different sectors of the art world to learn how key concepts may be applied in different scenarios – whether in a museum, auction house, gallery or nonprofit space. Basic strategies of public relations will be explored along with methods for making the most of social media platforms to develop and deepen customer relationships and engagement, digital and traditional branding, communication and media relations strategies, use of social media, developing and maintaining audiences, market research, client segmentation and pricing issues. These important concepts are applied in practice based, term-long projects as you develop a full marketing plan for an art-focused exhibition or cultural event.
Management in the Arts: The Art Advisory and Gallery Business
This course provides students with the opportunity to understand the processes involved in launching and successfully managing a commercial art gallery and art advisory business. In addition to reviewing the historical development of the gallery, students will study current art businesses specializing in different media and historical periods as well as galleries operating at different business levels and contexts. Guest speakers from diverse commercial venues provide first-hand art market insight into how successful galleries manage the dynamic complexity of the art market. You will also explore the impact of art fairs and online sale platforms on the traditional brick-and-mortar gallery art business. A term-long project will take you through the journey of planning and preparing
to open an art gallery or art advisory business. This project provides a platform upon which students can synthesize and apply your learning in a practical hands-on manner.
Assessing Risk and Reward in the Art Market
Art collecting is an endeavor of passion, commitment and intellectual curiosity. It is, however, also fraught with risk.Through a series of in-class lectures, guest presentations and case studies, students will learn about the various types of risk that exist when transacting in the commercial art world. Students will learn to identify, manage and mitigate transactional risks to understand when operating in the current art market. Students are challenged to view risk and reward in the commercial art market from a business operations perspective. Topics include fine art insurance coverage, gallery risk management, risk transference, collections management, art handling, art transport and fine art insurance claims.
Articulating and Appraising Value
The value of art is a topic of great interest in the current art market as prices climb ever higher and the stakes grow ever larger. When discussing value, however, we can speak of many different types: aesthetic, art historical, symbolic, cultural and, of course, monetary. No matter the type or amount of value, the ability to articulate the conditions that have influenced the value of art is of particular interest and importance.This course offers a methodology for engaging and interpreting works of art, with an emphasis on the articulation of value and meaning. The course provides students with an opportunity to develop a cogent argument or value upon which all formal written appraisals of fine and decorative art are based. Readings and case studies will be complemented by a series of intensive, hands-on individual and group projects.
The Auction Business
This course introduces students to the inner workings of the auction business by focusing on how property is obtained for sale, how the major auction houses compete for consignments, the inter-departmental teamwork involved with bringing works of art to the auction block, and the mechanism and processes at work in the auction saleroom. Students are given an inside perspective into buying and selling at auction, the fine points of 'saleroom science', and how private sales and online bidding have changed the auction industry. Additional insight is provided by guest speakers from Christie’s auction house who will explain their various roles in key departments.
This is the final independent project that encourages students to develop their voice through researching and writing on a topic of their own selection.The project can take a variety of forms. The subject could be a body of work analyzing a sector of the market, business plan, a study on the impact of a specific area of law or regulation, or another piece of commercial analytical work.
Master’s students pursue full-time internships during their final term. Students secure internships in a wide range of sites including Christie’s auction house, commercial galleries and not-for-profit art institutions.
Gainful employment disclosures for this Master's program