The Business of the Visual Arts  Short Courses

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Tuesday 3 October 2017 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £440.00 CS1334 Enrolment Closed
Tuesday 16 January 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £440.00 CS1334 Course Cancelled
Tuesday 1 May 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 weekly classes £440.00 CS1334 Apply Now

Course Content

This Business of the Visual Arts course is designed for emerging artists, potential or new gallery owners, and individuals interested in working in the visual arts. It provides insight into the management of a gallery and an artist’s practice.

Topics Covered

Topics covered in our Business of the Visual Arts short course include: contracts and agreements, copyright, professional presentation, marketing and branding, art fairs, and pricing structure. The course explores art market mechanisms and business planning and includes a visit to an alternative gallery space as well as an artist’s studio.

Why Choose a City Short Course?

Delivered as 10 weekly evening classes, City's Business of the Visual Arts short course combines academic expertise with practical knowledge - ideal for people looking to gain in-depth knowledge of the business side to visual arts.

Led by industry experts you'll develop a wide set of skills complemented by the flexibility of evening study.

Tutor Info

Renée Pfister has built an esteemed and longstanding career as a consultant, curator, registrar and business development manager in the art world.

She was part of the curatorial team at the British Museum where she was involved in realising major projects such as the Great Court and the Weston Gallery of Roman-Britain. At the Tate Gallery she worked as a Registrar from 1999 to 2005, and was responsible for managing acquisitions and ground-breaking international exhibitions from the Tate’s collection.

She also participated in a Registrars’ exchange programme at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, wrote a chapter for the Routledge publication ‘Understanding International Art Markets & Management’ and worked for the late Sir Anthony Caro as an advisor.

Since 2010 she has run her own art and gallery consultancy. She offers support to gallery owners new in the business and career mentoring services to emerging and mid-career artists. In addition, she teaches at City, University of London, Lancaster University, South London Arts Forum and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


No prior knowledge in visual art required.

What will I learn?

The course will provide an understanding of the day-to-day management of an artist studio and a commercial gallery, as well as gaining knowledge about the art market, business planning, marketing and copyright.

Recommended Reading

While we encourage you to read the books on the reading list for your course, we recommend that you speak to the tutor before investing in the purchase of any essential text.

There are a number of magazines available for subscription or online.

Arts Newspaper
Artist Newsletter
Museums Practice

Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants, 1997, Artist Rights Programme - Taxation and Employment Status of Visual Artists, National Artists Association.

D. Duffin, Investigating Galleries, AN Publication.

R. Hill, S. O'Sullivan, T. O'Sullivan, (2nd ed) 2003, Creative Arts Marketing, Butterworth and Heinemann Publication.

HM Customs and Excise, Notice 703, 2010, Exports and removals of goods from the United Kingdom.

HM Customs and Excise, Notice 718, 2010, Value added Tax: Margin
Scheme for second-hand goods, works of art, antiquities and collectors items

K. Allen, P. Shaw, 1997, Artist Rights Programme - A review of artists' earnings for exhibitions and commissions, National Artists Association.

S. Jones, Fundraising, AN Publication.

McClean and Schubert, 2002, Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, Ridinghouse.

D. McMullan, 1994, Be your own Boss, Kogan Page Ltd., London.

E. Moody, J. Summerton, 1995, The Business of Being an Artist, City, University of London

R. Murphy, S. Deeks, S. Nolan, Money Matters, AN Publication.

I. Robertson, 2005, Understanding International Art Markets and Management, Routledge, London.

S. Simon, 2003, Art and Copyright,  Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland, Oregon.

J. Staines, Exhibiting and Selling Abroad, AN Publication.

Boyden Southwood Associates, Marketing the Visual Arts, Arts Council of England.

Thompson, JMA (2nd ed), 1992, Manual of Curatorship, 2nd edition. Butterworth, London.

Application Deadline: