The Wall Street Journal has a jumble of barely related new courses that are trying to teach the business of art and art dealing. It’s not entirely clear where all of these newly minted candidates are going to work. Nonetheless, the story starts with a class at Williams College that got to go to Christie’s and buy a work of art with the Museum’s acquisition funds.
Christie’s is also launching a new Art, Law and Business master’s program.
Amid all of this, Acquavella’s Michael Findlay reminds us all that there’s an essential precursor, an interest in the art itself:
Some art-world veterans say the push toward business-savvy art study means certain newcomers to the business are dealing in paintings they barely know, using arty buzzwords to cover what are basically market predictions.
“I don’t think there’s really much depth of knowledge among some of the people who get very quickly involved in it,” said Michael Findlay, director of New York’s Acquavella Galleries. “The person who is involved should be building their own convictions, their own insight and their own taste based on experience, not just based on the results of Sotheby’s or Christie’s contemporary sales a month ago—that’s not how taste is formed.”
The focus on the money side of art appreciation starts early: Mr. Findlay recalled a father approaching him at a recent art fair saying his 10-year-old son only wanted to see the most expensive painting in the booth.