At Sotheby’s Institute, courses that cover the art market and the history of modern and contemporary art look at the fair as a phenomenon that has accompanied art's commercial rise over the past 150 years. In the last 20 years, the rise of the art fair has gone hand in hand with the rise of the international biennial - two platforms that have substantially increased the visibility and reach of contemporary art and artists. Indeed, the biennial and the fair have much to do with our understanding of what makes art 'contemporary.’
Sotheby’s Institute of Art began as a training program for auction house employees in 1969. Today, professional development continues to be a fundamental part of the Institute’s programs, preparing graduates for many roles in the art world, in both the business and non-profit spheres.