Art Writing

Learn how to write like an art critic. Discover how to look at art like a pro and write compelling reviews of online art exhibitions for an art magazine that you design.


What does great art writing look like, and what skills are involved in researching and writing about art? How can you think about art in a way that will make your writing clear, organized, and influential? Explore the answers to these and other questions by interacting online with art writers and insiders from publications such as Art in America, ARTnews, Frieze magazine, Mousse and The New York Times. Learn about other groundbreaking publications and websites that have the power to make or break an artist’s career, and study the types of writing that art magazines, galleries, and museums commission to promote great artists’ work. This course is ideal for students who love writing, reading, and critical thinking. Students will visit the online viewing rooms of top international museums and galleries, and will produce their own reviews and profiles.


Virtual site visits may include:

  • World-renowned press store Printed Matter, Inc.
  • The Center for Book Arts in New York
  • The contemporary art exhibitions at Tate Modern in London
  • Contemporary international galleries such as Metro Pictures and Hauser & Wirth
  • An artist’s studio


Guest speakers may include:

  • Art writers and critics
  • Art magazine editors
  • Gallery owners
  • Artists


Projects may include:

  • Designing the landing page of a new online art magazine using writing done over the duration of the course
  • Crafting a review of a contemporary art exhibition in the “house style” of an international art publication
  • Interviewing a contemporary artist and composing a compelling profile


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 3 July 5 to July 16 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 Intensive?

Intensives immerse students in a single subject area for the entire two-week Institute term, with the goal of cultivating comprehensive knowledge of that discipline. This thorough approach to learning enables students to develop deeper insights about the field by closely investigating its inner workings.

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

    Attending virtual guided tours of venues such as Tate Modern, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as leading art galleries, such as David Zwirner, Metro Pictures and Hauser & Wirth.

  • 2

    Students will hear firsthand about what constitutes great art writing from international journalists, gallerists, museum personnel, and others who write about art. How do art writers look at art? What do they keep in mind when reviewing a show or an exhibition?

  • 3

    Students will learn about different styles of writing, how to look at art with a discerning eye, and how to discuss art in a compelling and meaningful way. Students will write their own reviews, profiles, and interviews.

  • 4

    Students will examine a variety of groundbreaking publications and websites that have shaped how art is written about today, and how those publications and online outlets might influence the public reception of a show and even the very success of an artist’s career.

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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