Go behind the scenes in a conservator’s lab and explore the history, care, and valuation of art objects in a hands-on learning environment.
This course will survey the fascinating ways in which cultural objects are conserved, studied, and appraised. Students will gain exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to museum conservation labs and hear from experts about how art objects—ranging from ancient ceramics to post-war paintings—are preserved for future generations. Professional appraisers will teach students the key factors used when determining the value of art in museums, galleries, auction houses, and private collections. Students will also study the art historical environment surrounding the care and condition of artworks, offering them a new, interactive perspective on the context of cultural objects and the ethical considerations that go into conserving them.
This course is taught by an expert conservator and a professional appraiser. Both instructors provide exclusive insight into these unique professions and the skill sets needed for them, and each week of study culminates in a final project that helps students practice evaluating artwork condition and value.
Visits will include a combination of trips to major New York City art museums and galleries, as well as other places related to art conservation and art appraisal.
In the past, site visits have included:
- Sotheby’s auction house
- The Brooklyn Museum Conservation Lab
- The Whitney Museum of American Art Conservation Lab
- Art appraisal firms
- Art galleries and art gallery neighborhoods
- Artists’ studios
In the past, guest speakers have included:
- Art conservators
- Art appraisers
- Museum curators
- Gallery directors
- Art historians
Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Sotheby’s Institute of Art.