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Sotheby's Institute of Art London

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1969
    • Size:
    • Medium (5000~15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Private for-profit
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Art institutes
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Temperate
    • Location:
    • 30 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, England, United Kingdom
    • Phone:
    • +442074623232
    • Email Address:
    • N/A
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Sotheby's Institute of Art London

Originally conceived as a training program for connoisseurship by Sotheby's auction house in 1969, Sotheby's Institute of Art aims to provide students with education on the business of art while exploring both the scholarly and practical sides of the art world.

In 1995, Sotheby's Institute of Art – London was granted the status of an Affiliated Institution of the University of Manchester's Department of Art History and Archaeology.  At the end of 2002, Sotheby's sold its Institute to a US-based information and educational services firm, Cambridge Information Group (CIG), which retains the Sotheby's name.  Sotheby's Institute continues to have strong links with Sotheby's auction house, having members on the Sotheby's Institute of Art – London advisory board and students having access to internships, auctions, and exhibitions at Sotheby's.

In September 2006, the Institute broadened its course offerings in New York and in 2010 the New York Institute received degree-granting authority from the Regents of the State of New York. It has been an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design since 1989. Between 2013-2019 Sotheby's Institute in partnership with the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University established a new master's degree in Art Business. Jonathan T.D. Neil was the Director of the Los Angeles campus. The Institute also began offering courses in mainland China in 2013 and in March 2014 announced a partnership with Tsinghua University to offer a six-week international field study program with a professional certificate.

Academic Highlights

The Institute runs full-time master's degree programs in Art Business, Contemporary Art, Fine and Decorative Art, East Asian Art and Contemporary Design. In the summer, the Institute offers two week and month-long certificate programs in topics ranging from curation to art evaluation and provenance research.

At the London campus, master's degrees are awarded by the University of Manchester a Russell Group university. In New York, master's degrees are granted through the Regents of the State of New York and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Life in Sotheby's Institute of Art London

An international taste-maker, London creates an ideal environment for living and learning within a vibrant community of art professionals. In addition to their studies, Institute students experience full immersion in the London art scene through visits to museums, art fairs, galleries, private collections, and artist studios, led by the Institute’s network of art professionals in London and beyond. Sotheby’s auction house also provides students with privileged access to pre-sale viewings, private events, and handling sessions.

Our approach to the study of art and its markets ensures that students receive privileged access and behind-the-scenes insights on how objects are made, handled, collected, curated, displayed, bought, and sold. Internships and accredited work placement are available to compliment this unique, participatory experience.

School Ranking

World ranking 6777


Accredited programs (Master's degrees, Semester and 4-week summer courses in London) require an admissions application. Registration for non-accredited programs (all other summer courses, online courses, and short courses) do not require an admissions application.

Notable Alumni

Nadja Swarovski is an Austrian businesswoman. Louise Stern is an American writer and artist and works around ideas of language, communication, and isolation. Stephane Custot is a French gallerist and art dealer.

Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate was 0.0.

Other Campuses
    • 1017 N. Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont, California, United States
    • 570 Lexington Avenue, New York City, New York, United States



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