Professional Training

Modern and Contemporary Art

12 weeks
8,500 GBP
Next course start
Spring | January 22 - April 11 See details
Course delivery
12 weeks
8,500 GBP
Next course start
Spring | January 22 - April 11 See details
Course delivery
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Course description

A discounted tuition rate is available for individuals who are interested to enroll in two or more Sotheby’s Institute of Art In-Person Professional Courses within the same term. Contact our admissions team at for more information and a discount code.

As the scholarship surrounding both modern and contemporary art continues to evolve and challenge, this innovative and intensive course finds new ways to engage the viewer and connect the two periods, providing students with a strong foundation in recent art history.

London is one of the world’s most vibrant centers of modern and contemporary art. Full of enterprising galleries and artists’ spaces that have burgeoned across the capital, it has attracted artists of many different nationalities to live and work there while also being the home of many important art institutions.

This twelve-week course is aimed at students seeking to experience the art scene in London at close quarters and to learn about the wider historic and cultural implications of modern and contemporary art in context.

This course incorporates both in-classroom teaching and on-site visits to a wide spectrum of art world institutions where students can practice their visual analysis skills in front of the original works of art. Visits include artist studios, museums, foundations, private museums, and both established and emerging commercial galleries. The market for modern and contemporary art and the role of the art curator and collector are also addressed.

Orientation: 9am GMT, January 22

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Spring | January 22 - April 11

  • Classroom
  • London
  • English

Suitability - Who should attend?

Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world, to be sufficiently prepared for a wide-ranging career within the art industry. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 alumni around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.

Training Course Content

Week 1: Introduction to the art world today, with a focus on modernism and how it came to be.

Week 2: Explore modern Chinese art with a visit to the British Museum for a temporary exhibition.

Week 3: Understand major art movements of the 19th century, including realism and impressionism.

Week 4: Discuss post-impressionism as a reaction to prior movements and explore color theory. Visit the Courtauld Gallery to see impressionist and post-Impressionist artworks.

Week 5: Focus on art in Britain from the Victorian period and engage with artworks at the Tate Britain to enhance learning. Visit Oxford to explore museums with vast collections of Victorian art, such as the Ashmolean Museum.

Week 6: Discover early 20th century art movements and how art was exchanged during this time.

Week 7: Explore early to mid-20th century artistic movements such as Bauhaus and British Modernism. Enjoy a walking tour of the monumental sculptures of London.

Week 8: Analyze post-war art and internationalism with case studies.

Week 9: Understand the shift to contemporary art and the movements that contributed to it, such as pop art and minimalism.

Week 10: Examine photography’s role in contemporary art with a visit to the Photographers’ Gallery.

Week 11: Learn about new media and film. Visit contemporary galleries with a day trip to Margate.

Week 12: Move to the current period of 21st century art and explore globalism and the hyper-contemporary art market.

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Sotheby's Institute of Art
30 Bedford Square
WC1B 3EE London

Sotheby's Institute of Art

Sotheby’s auction house was founded in 1744 when Samuel Baker, an entrepreneur, occasional publisher, and successful businessman held his first auction. Today at Sotheby’s Institute, we emphasize a keen understanding of an object’s value and history, a spirit of inquiry...

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