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Course in Collecting Contemporary Art

June 7, 2014
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

Christie’s is not only an auction house. It extends into the realm of culture and development with Christie’s Education institute, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programmes in the world of art and business. Respectable and well drafted, these programmes are designed to cater needs of future art business experts or career changers  with strong interest in arts. Also, collectors are welcome to attend and learn more about collecting and styles they are intrigued by.

Christie's Education
Christie’s Education

Fall courses of Christie’s Education have been announced already, one of which is Collecting Contemporary Art, this time in New York. This is a certificate course dedicated to questions regarding trends in the contemporary art market, it consists of seven classes held for three days each month, over the period of seven months. Having been holding collector-focused courses in London for a while, the institute turned to collectors in New York drafting a novel educational program.

Christie's Education
Christie’s Education

Course for Everyone

Collecting Contemporary Art is made to introduce collectors who feel a little out of touch with the subject, to the occurrences in this dynamic market section. It is a certificate program, and not a degree, but this is why it’s accessible to anyone interested willing to pay the tuition of $1,800 per class. Although the number of classes they choose to attend is up to students, the certificate is only won after the whole seven are completed. This comes up to the $12,600 for the cost of the entire certificate program, not counting the $35 registration fee.

This type of programmes display the interest of Christie’s in helping shape new generation of collectors. This May, the famous auction house did have the biggest contemporary art sale in history, selling art for total of $745 million. When looking their very prolific three day period of that month, the house drew in around $1 billion through different types of sales.

Christie's Education
Christie’s Education

Word of CEO

This kind of exceptional financial success of the auction house was followed by a statement of Steven Murphy, CEO of Christie’s. In short, he stated that in this “extraordinary cultural moment” it is not the financial prestige driving people to compete for the work of art, but it is “the work of art itself”. “It is the art that is drawing people in increasing numbers to museums, art fairs and galleries all over the world. More people than ever before want to connect with art; and the growth in this audience globally, makes the few, individual, true masterpieces available more valuable than ever before.”

Regardless of the momentary hype or the true value of art, auction houses have always been focused on what they saw as most prolific within the realm they work. Many famous artists would still sell artwork on their own and live comfortably, without the astronomical prices, today more often than before, reached at auction houses. Still, these auction companies definitely care and nurture their business, through numerous channels, and one of them is collector or general art education.

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