Art History / Art Business / Art New York

Understand the art world from all angles through an online immersion in art history, the art market, and the vibrant and enduring art scene of New York City.


Students enrolled in this online Exploration course will survey the fields of art history, art business, and contemporary art, focusing on the complex and dynamic artwork being created in the New York art market today. Guided by expert educators and leaders in the field, our Exploration courses focus on the intersectionality between topics. In this course, students will explore how a variety of art world players come together to make New York City into one of the top art capitals of the world.


A multidisciplinary approach to learning encourages students to sample different fields and employ critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. Designed and led by industry experts with extensive online teaching experience, the virtual learning environment balances live sessions with different types of interactive activities to engage students in an exploration of their passions and help them prepare for college. The Exploration program is curated to give students a newfound sense of direction for their future studies by shedding light on a diverse selection of subject material.


Virtual site visits may include:

  • Behind the scenes at Sotheby’s auction house
  • Online viewing rooms of top international galleries, such as David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth
  • Virtual guided tours of New York’s top museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Virtual guided tours of New York’s art neighborhoods, such as Chelsea in Manhattan
  • Touring the art studios of world-famous artists based in New York City


Guest speakers may include:

  • Auction house experts and world-famous auctioneers
  • Online art sales entrepreneurs
  • Gallery directors
  • Museum curators
  • Artists
  • Art writers


Projects may include:

  • Creating and naming your own online art museum and choosing from more than one hundred thousand digitized works of art to design and curate an exhibition
  • Using a hypothetical budget of five million US dollars, go on a virtual art shopping spree at international galleries, and present the works with research on your favorite artists and their markets
  • Investigating the market value of a treasured object from your own home



Tech Fee: $75


Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Term Dates

Term dates and course availability depend heavily on instructors’ schedules.

  • Term 2 June 21 to July 2 Term Closed

All courses are open to rising 10th – 12th graders and graduating seniors. Explore the full online summer schedule.

View Summer Schedule

What is an Exploration?

Explorations are designed to introduce students to three distinct topics in a two-week Institute term. This survey approach to learning enables students to make cross-disciplinary connections and informed decisions about their academic and career choices.

Course Highlights

Summer Institute enables students to dive deep into a course of study, sharpening skills for their academic and professional careers. Each course is carefully designed to suit student interests and encourage intellectual curiosity.

  • 1

    Virtual guided tours of some of the world’s top art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris as students learn about major artists and art movements from Antiquity to Modernism. Students will engage in institutional critiques, analyzing issues around who decides which artists and artworks belong in museums, and what makes art into art history.

  • 2

    An insider’s look into how the multibillion-dollar business of art through virtual visits to galleries and an auction house. Students will gain an understanding of both primary and secondary art markets and the newest developments, such as digital marketplaces, that are changing the business landscape.

  • 3

    Immersion in the contemporary art scene in New York through virtual visits and learning about the leaders of contemporary art movements. Students will also investigate the different types of media favored by current practitioners, and dip into the world of emerging artists through a virtual tour of an artist’s studio.

Summer Institute Faculty

Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders and professional experts in the art world. Each faculty member structures their course around real-time conversations defining their professions and helps students master the unique forces at play in the art world.

Summer Institute Faculty

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