NEW YORK – Every year, Sotheby’s Institute offers a range of 6-week Online Courses for those interested in learning more about the art world on their own terms, in their own time. The courses range from introductory surveys of key art movements to specific art-related topics that a student, collector or professional might be keen to study, such as Writing for the Art World. We asked Kirstin Mende, former online student and current MA student at Sotheby’s Institute in New York, to tell us more about her experience studying in the online program.

Kristin Mende, former online student and current MA student at Sotheby’s Institute in New York.

What inspired you to take an online course at Sotheby’s Institute? Which course(s) did you take? 

I was interested in taking an online course because I hoped to pursue a career in the global art market, and while I’ve always been passionate about art, I never formally studied art history. Everything I knew about art was entirely self-taught and based on my experiences living in Paris and New York – two major cultural capitals. I felt that before making a definitive career change I should fill in the gaps by taking some academic courses. 

To help supplement my knowledge of art history, I enrolled in two online courses at Sotheby’s Institute: Introduction to Contemporary Art and Introduction to Art History: The Movements That Mattered. Both courses provided surveys of important art movements and challenged students to consider the techniques and influences of those artistic periods.

A student studying online.

In your opinion, what advantages are there to studying online?

I enjoyed studying online because I was able to work at my own pace throughout the week. I was employed full-time, so pursuing my studies online allowed me to coordinate my own schedule in such a way that would not interfere with the demands of my job. The coursework was intense, but the ease and convenience of the online platform made it manageable and fun. Aside from the rich subject matter, the best part of studying online is getting to interact with students from various different background from all over the world and in different time zones.


How was the transition from online courses to a Master's programme at Sotheby’s Institute?

My online courses prepared me well for the Master's in Art Business program at Sotheby’s Institute. Not having had any formal academic training in art, the courses quickly brought me up to speed with the rest of my classmates. I entered the MA feeling secure in my knowledge and that confidence and foundation has been critical to my success in the program so far.

Learn More and Register for Spring Online Courses at Sotheby’s Institute.