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Art Market Practices: Building and Managing Collections

This course offers a pragmatic study of the professional practices used in art advisory work. Learn the fundamental concepts of building a collection, and examine the role of the professional art adviser in the marketplace. This course combines lectures with field studies to provide real-world grounding in the process of building a collection. It will cover the basic concepts of collecting, including the mechanics, points of sale, commissions and associated costs of acquiring art, and the care of art. Become familiar with the realities of working within specialized markets, and gain an understanding of the underlying mechanisms and working realities of procuring art through various market sources. This course will review successful strategies for approaching private collectors, corporations, private businesses, institutions, and museums. As clients have different expectations and needs, learn to handle the real concerns and varied challenges of working with clients in their homes, in their offices, or at institutions. Learn how to set goals, define the vision and/or mission of the collection, create timelines, make productive recommendations, prepare presentations of acquisitions, acquire formal and informal approvals, and manage clients’ various needs to fulfill their aesthetic desires. The course relies heavily on case studies of collectors, as well as the seasoned experience of a practicing professional who works daily in the art market.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • The skill set to envision and build museum-quality collections that meet the criteria of institutional and private collectors
  • The ability to determine and select quality art objects for inclusion in a collection
  • The knowledge to evaluate quality and prices based upon different marketplaces for acquiring or deaccessing art objects
  • The ability to access and manage the various points of sale for building a collection, including retail galleries, online galleries, auctions, art fairs, private sales, and artists’ studios
  • The skills to manage sales transactions, including associated commission structures
  • An understanding of the characteristics of the primary, secondary, and private market levels
  • The ability to navigate and manage the often-fractured, disparate, and sometimes conflicting information on price points surrounding art acquisition
  • The knowledge to anticipate and understand acquisition and transaction fees, specifically commissions and costs associated with the buying or selling of artwork
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.


    • Section

    • Semester

      Spring 2018
    • Date

      Feb 23 - Apr 13
    • Day

    • Time

      • In-Person/Online Blended
    • Format

      In-Person/Online Blended
      • In-Person/Online Blended
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Vara, Renee
    • Location

      Location TBA
    Tuition $650