Master's Program in Art, Law and Business
Master's Program in Art, Law and Business
This full-time M.A. program provides an in-depth study of the relationships between art, law and business and how this dynamic interaction influences the commercial art world. It combines rigorous academic coursework with hands-on practical training and workshops.
Emphasizing practice over theory, the program introduces you to a series of foundational tools, skills and concepts of art history, art business and art law. Through a combination of coursework, workshops, guest presentations, domestic and international site visits and internships you are given the means to build your professional infrastructure. The practical skills and conceptual frameworks learned at Christie’s Education serve our graduates well as they embark on diverse and meaningful careers throughout the art market ecosystem.
The core pedagogical strategy of the program is based on the premise that utilizing the lenses of commerce, law and history to view art and the art market will serve to enhance our understanding of how the global art market functions. Through this non-traditional approach to the study and examination of art and art markets, you will develop rare insights into the dynamics that influence the markets.
Our program goal is to produce graduates who are conversant in the languages of art and commerce and who have the necessary transferable skills to make a smooth transition into the global art world. With unparalleled access to art market specialists and professionals you will learn from, and interface with, the current leading practitioners in the art market today.
As part of the curriculum, you will travel to domestic and international art destinations to meet with a diverse range of professionals working across the art market landscape. During the program we
visit art fairs, museums, art business conferences, galleries, art advisories, art logistics businesses and art insurance firms.
Over 15 months of intensive study, you will take a combined 40 credits to complete your degree. The program concludes with a final term that is exclusively focused on a full-time internship
and an independent capstone project that are both instrumental in helping you to activate your professional careers in the art market.
The learning goals and projected program outcome of the M.A. in Art, Law and Business directly and specifically coincide with the knowledge, skills and attitude that will serve our students well upon
entering a career in the art market. These program goals have been developed and endorsed by Christie’s Education faculty in collaboration with market specialists and professionals throughout the art market ecosystem:
- Advanced understanding of internal structure and operation of the global art market
- Uncommon ability to integrate the tools and techniques of global business with the business of art
- Insight into the legal structures and ethical considerations in the art ecosystem
- Deep and broad understanding of the principles and formal components of contemporary art
- Transferable professional development skills – including effective communication, leadership, analytical and critical thinking, and fundamental administrative
- Build a dynamic network of art world professionals
You will participate in a series of study trips throughout the program. Through visits to galleries, museums, art fairs, artists’ studios, and a multitude of art-related businesses you will experience and engage with art in a very personal and meaningful way. You will also have the opportunity to interact with a vast network of art world professionals and apply your newly acquired skills in real-world settings. You will travel both domestically and globally to important art destinations thus giving an additional opportunity to interface art and with the art market.
Who Should Apply
The program is designed for both recent undergraduates as well as working professionals from inside the art market and other disciplines who wish to gain access to the global art market. Our program is best suited for those aiming to start or further careers in the management, sales, marketing, public relations, client services, administration and strategy of commercial entities within the international art world and creative industries. Graduates typically go onto careers in auction houses, galleries, art fairs, independent appraisal companies and other art-related businesses throughout the global art market.
For further information, please contact:
T +1 212 355 1501
Watch our short video about the Master's of Art in Art, Law and Business program
A hallmark of the Art, Law and Business M.A. program is the development of our core curriculum. The core curriculum is designed to give our students an in-depth mastery of the three academic disciplines that make up the primary focus of the program: art history, art business and art law. The courses making up the core curriculum are Art Business, Art Law and Language of Contemporary Art. As such, each term the core curriculum includes dedicated course work specifically applied to these functional areas that we believe are necessary for professional success in the art market. These courses provide a skill set that will allow you to anticipate change and recognize opportunities with speed and accuracy.
Art Business I, II, III
Art Business (I, II and III) is intended to provide you with a strong foundation of qualitative, quantitative and analytical skills necessary to run an art business in the current global art market. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the commercial and financial markets in general and the art market in particular detail. Throughout the course, you will acquire the tools critical to the investigation of the dynamics of the art market within the current global economic framework.
- Art Business I: is an in-depth study and exploration of the economics of the art market. Topics include pricing and valuation, development of markets and behavioural economics as applied to art
- Art Business II: you will learn the fundamentals of financial accounting, budgeting and cash flow
- Art Business III: through the business case study method, you will study business strategy and entrepreneurship as it has been applied to existing art businesses
The culminating project of the course is the creation and development of a new art business that is presented to a panel of art market professionals. Art Business III pulls together and applies many of the concepts you will have learned over the entire year.
3 credits per term (9 credits total)
Language of Contemporary Art I, II, III
Language of Contemporary Art focuses on the diverse cultural production during the 1960s and 1970s in Europe and the Americas. Following a brief historical survey of the emergence of modern art, its markets and institutional networks, the course provides a thorough overview and a critical examination of the social and cultural history of contemporary art. Through the study of the key movements and artists of the period, the course will examine the artistic practices and theoretical discourses that shaped the trajectory of contemporary art from the rise of Pop Art in London to the earthworks in the American West and street performances in Rio de Janeiro.
The course progresses both thematically and chronologically to introduce you to major artists and movements from across the globe. It also includes lectures on watershed exhibitions that defined an art historical moment as well as lectures on specific artists. Throughout the three terms, you will visit galleries, art fairs, auction exhibitions, and many other public and private displays of contemporary art.
2 credits per term (6 credits total)
Art Law, I, II, III
The Art Law course investigates the role that law plays in the commercial art world. It explores key legal instruments used in transactions, the roles of national and international legislation in the governance of the art market and the effects these have on the free movement of cultural objects between key international selling centers. These core courses provide you with knowledge over a range of areas in international art business including art law and taxation, appraisal/valuation, intellectual property rights, ethics and corporate social responsibility, use of information and communication technology.
Art Law I: this introductory section of the course will provide you with a foundational knowledge of a range of areas in art law and business including: introduction to art law, basic transaction and contract law, legal business structures, etc. – all knowledge that is essential to become an art world professional.
Art Law II: This provides you with a foundational knowledge of legal issues related to artistic expression, including intellectual property law; free speech and censorship; moral rights of artists
and roles of art institutions; the challenges of technological developments and media and market change; and the law relevant to cultural patrimony and traditional practices of making (such as
‘aboriginal art’). Throughout the course, key concepts will be illuminated by a discussion of case histories focusing on art that exemplifies the issues or that features legal concepts as its subject matter.
Art Law III: building on the work completed in the first two terms, Art Law III will provide you with foundational knowledge in the following areas: Authenticity Disputes, Ownership/Title Disputes, Cultural Property Restrictions, International Trade, Due Diligence, and Personal Taxation/Estate Planning.
2 credits per term (6 credits total)
Mapping the Art World
The goal of this course is to familiarize you with the institutions that have historically played an essential role in shaping the art market including private dealers, galleries, collectors, auction houses, critics and museums. We examine the central figures of the global contemporary art ecosystem. You will learn about dealers and gallerists with global footprints, advisors who travel the world to attend art fairs, curators of international exhibitions and biennials, and artists who show their work around the world. You will come to understand and contextualize the issues central to the art world as a part of what is now a global art economy.
In addition to lectures and presentations, you will attend weekly field studies in the galleries of Christie’s where you will engage directly with some of
the finest specialists of fine and decorative art in the world. These field studies give rare insight into the important art market issues of valuation, authenticity and evolving global collecting patterns. Specific emphasis is on the inner workings of the auction house. The class concludes with a study trip to Art Basel Miami where you will have the opportunity to engage directly with art market professionals.
Marketing the Arts
This course introduces you to the practical application of marketing strategies for the arts within the context of the ever-increasing competitive economic environment. The course surveys a variety of
marketing techniques used in the art world, from audience research and campaign development to advertising and branding, as well as publications and emerging online tools. You will study marketing approaches across different sectors of the art world to learn how key concepts may be applied in different scenarios – whether in a museum, auction house, gallery or nonprofit space. Basic strategies of public relations will be explored along with methods for making the most of social media platforms to develop and deepen customer relationships and engagement, digital and traditional branding, communication and media relations strategies, use of social media, developing and maintaining audiences, market research, client segmentation and pricing issues. These important concepts are applied in practicebased, term-long projects as you develop a full marketing plan for an art-focused exhibition or cultural event.
Management in the Arts: The Gallery and Art Advisory Business
This course provides you with the opportunity to understand the processes involved in launching and successfully managing a commercial art gallery and art advisory business. In addition to reviewing the historical development of the gallery, you will study current art businesses specializing in different media and historical periods as well as galleries operating at different business levels and contexts. Guest speakers from diverse commercial venues provide first-hand art market insight into how successful galleries manage the dynamic complexity of the art market. You will also explore the impact of art fairs and online sale platforms on the traditional brick-and-mortar gallery art business. A term-long project will take you through the journey of planning and preparing
to open an art gallery or art advisory business. This project provides a platform upon which you can synthesize and apply your learning in a practical hands-on manner.
Assessing Risk and Reward in the Art Market
Art collecting is an endeavor of passion, commitment and intellectual curiosity. It is, however, also fraught with risk. Through a series of in-class lectures, guest presentations and case studies, you will learn about the various types of risk that exist when transacting in the commercial art world. You will be introduced to art market risk from various stakeholder perspectives: gallery, auction house, art dealer, collector, art specialist, etc. You will learn to identify, manage and mitigate transactional risks to understand when operating in the current art market. You will be challenged to view risk and reward in the commercial art market from a business operations perspective. Topics include fine art insurance coverage, gallery risk management, risk transference, collections management, art handling, art transport and fine art insurance claims.
The value of art is a topic of great interest in the current art market as prices climb ever higher and the stakes grow ever larger. When discussing value, however, we can speak of many different types: aesthetic, art historical, symbolic, cultural and, of course, monetary. No matter the type or amount of value, the ability to articulate the conditions that have influenced the value of art is of particular interest and importance. This course focuses upon two skills that are critical for the emerging art business professional:
– Mastering the tools and vocabulary to address, speak, and write about the vast array of works of art we find within an ever-changing marketplace
– Developing the special skill sets needed to work directly with artists and to promote successful artist/dealer relationships
This course offers a methodology for encountering and interpreting works of art, with an emphasis on direct encounter and focused engagement with primary source material. The course provides you with an opportunity to develop a cogent argument or value upon which all formal written appraisals of fine and decorative art are based. Readings and case studies will be complemented by a series of intensive, hands-on individual and group projects.
The Auction Business
This course introduces you to the inner workings of the auction business by focusing on how property is obtained for sale, how the major auction houses compete for consignments, the inter-departmental teamwork involved with bringing works of art to the auction block, and the mechanism and processes at work in the auction saleroom. You are given an inside perspective into buying and selling at auction, the evolution and current importance of financial incentives offered by the major auction houses and how private sales and online bidding have changed the auction industry.
Additional insight is provided by guest speakers from Christie’s auction house who will explain their various roles in key departments. You begin each week with a private exhibition tour led by a Christie’s specialist.
Special Topics in the Art Market: Workshop
Art market professionals in the current economic landscape require a practical, well-rounded and actionable set of skills that will amplify and enhance their analytical skill sets. In this workshop, you will explore some of these crucial skills and behaviors and learn to apply them through dynamic exercises and activities. Topics include communication and presentation skills, leadership and team building, motivation and self-awareness all within the context of the global art market.
This is the culminating independent research project that encourages you to develop your voice through primary and secondary research and along with the guidance of faculty produce a substantive
deliverable reflecting insight into your chosen topic. The project can take a variety of forms. Past projects have included business plans, market analyses, impact studies of specific laws and regulations, and other examples of commercial analytical work. The Capstone Project is intended to be both a valuable intellectual experience as well as the vehicle through which you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your analytical skills and art market insight to prospective employers.
Master’s students pursue full-time internships during their final term. Our students secure internships in a wide range of sites including Christie’s auction house, commercial galleries and not-for-profit art institutions.
Gainful employment disclosures for this Master's program
Applicants will be admitted who have submitted completed applications and all supporting documentation, as outlined in the admissions requirements, and who have, in the judgment of Christie’s Education, New York, demonstrated the necessary background and qualifications for the successful completion of the program.
- Completed application form
- Non-refundable application fee of $95 (waived until priority deadline January 17, 2020)
- Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent international degree
- Official transcripts in sealed envelopes from all post-secondary institutions attended. All transcripts, diplomas or academic records must be official documents issued by the college or university and provided in the original language. Transcripts in other languages must be accompanied by English translations certified by official translation professionals or agencies
- Applicants who attended university outside of the U.S. must submit an equivalency report from World Education Services (wes.org)
- Essay statement, 2–3 pages on why you are interested in the program
- Official GRE score report (optional)*
- Official TOEFL scores report if applicable*
- Two letters of academic or professional recommendation from writers who know the applicant’s abilities well. Letters should be sent in hard copy on letterhead with original signatures and be
accompanied by the Letter of Recommendation Form
- Personal interview (by invitation only). Invitations will be sent once all application materials have been submitted
Applicants will be admitted, who have submitted completed applications and all supporting documentation, as set forth in the admissions section, and who have, in the judgment of Christie’s Education New York, demonstrated the necessary background and qualifications for the successful completion of the program. Successful candidates will receive an acceptance letter and be required to secure their place in a program by paying a tuition deposit within a pre-determined time.
All materials must be sent in hard copy to the following address:
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 20th Floor,
New York, NY 10020
Applications are accepted beginning in the fall for the following academic year. There is a priority deadline of January 17, 2020. However, applications will be accepted after that date until the programs are full.
*TOEFL and GRE Exams
Applicants to the Christie’s Education M.A. programs must be proficient in English. Applicants whose native language is not English or who are graduates of non-English speaking colleges and universities must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. Students are encouraged to submit GRE scores if they believe the scores are an accurate representation of their academic ability.
The TOEFL and GRE test takers must have their scores forwarded to Christie’s Education by Education Testing Services (ETS) which administers these exams. They must enter the Christie’s Education code 9394, on the TOEFL and GRE Score Report Request Form.
For information on these exams, contact ETS at +1 609 921 9000 or consult www.ets.org.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees cover most educational and administrative expenses, including but not limited to orientation programs, out of town field trips, cultural institutional visits, admittance to selected museums nationwide (most major New York City museums) and access to art work in the Christie’s Education Study Collection.
The library and media fee includes but is not limited to the access to electronic research resources, computer work stations, internet access, subscriptions to major art and art-related periodicals and a comprehensive collection of auction catalogues.
The student registration and services fee includes term registration, administrative costs while students are completing their coursework and lifetime membership to the Christie’s Education Alumni Association.
Due one month after acceptance
Fall Term Tuition Payment
Library and Media Fee
Student Registration and Services Fee
F-1 International Student Services Fee
Due August 10, 2020
Winter Term Tuition Payment
Due December 3, 2020
Spring Term Tuition Payment
Due March 4, 2021
Fall 2 Tuition Payment
Due August 10, 2021
Total program is 40 credits
$1,783 per credit
Christie’s Education, New York offers financial assistance to admitted students through a limited number of Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships. These are available to students who have been accepted into a M.A. program, submitted their completed Scholarship and Graduate Assistantships application form, met the GPA requirement and paid their tuition deposits.
September 8 - 11, 2020
September 14 – November 13, 2020
Yom Kippur Observed
September 28, 2020
Fall Term Exam Week
November 16–20, 2020
January 4 – March 12, 2021
MLK Day Observed
January 18, 2021
President’s Day Break
February 15–19, 2021
Winter Term Exam Week
March 15–19, 2021
April 5 – June 4, 2021
Memorial Day Observed
May 31, 2021
Spring Term Exam Week
June 7–11, 2021
Dates to be announced
* All dates subject to change