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 Exploration 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 art history through the lens of artwork care and condition, offering them a new, interactive perspective on the context of cultural objects.
Designed and led by industry experts, our Exploration courses focus on the intersectionality between topics. This dynamic learning experience balances lectures, site visits, and world-class guest speakers to engage students in an exploration of their interests and foster their curiosity around a diverse selection of subject material. Our multidisciplinary and hands-on approach to learning encourages students to sample different fields and employ critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
Visits will include a combination of trips to major New York City art museums and galleries, as well as other places related to art history, 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
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Museum of Modern Art
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- The Frick Collection
- 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
Materials fee: $245
Health fee: $100
Please note: This information is subject to change at any time at the discretion of Sotheby’s Institute of Art.