As part of their “up and out” Senior Art History seminar, Dr. Philip Eliasoph, professor of art history, and Fairfield’s graduating art history majors went on a specially arranged tour of Christie’s fine arts auction house in New York at 20 Rockefeller Plaza.
Escorted by a senior member of the American Art department, the students examined paintings proposed for future auction sales, visited the preparatory warehouse, and heard about the do’s and don’ts for transactional sales in arts and antiques in the international auction trade, Dr. Eliasoph reported.
“Christie’s auction house had such an amazing energy and buzz,” said Morgan Peck ’14, one of the students who attended the trip. “The day my class visited, an auction had taken place just a few hours earlier so we had the opportunity to see the show being taken down and a new one being put up. It really amazed me how quickly these exquisite shows are put up and taken down after the auction ended
Peck, who was accepted to Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York for an MA in Art Business, said that her Department’s trips to museums and auction houses have been helpful to her when deciding what to do after she graduates.
“All of my art history courses required at least one trip to a museum in Connecticut or New York City, which really exposed me to the ‘real world,’ she said. “My senior capstone course traveled to galleries, museums, and auction houses in Connecticut and New York City every week over the course of the semester.
“Not only were we privileged enough to learn at these places, but we got private tours and meetings to learn about the ‘behind the scenes’ operations of each place. This not only made me realize I wanted to continue my studies at graduate school, but also helped me narrow down my passions within the art industry,” she said.
Peck’s graduate program will consist of art business related courses such as investment, insurance, valuation, art law, and economics, among others. Once in the program, she’ll choose a focus for her studies and career.
“It’s hard to choose right now where I see my career heading, since I am really passionate about all areas and open to new opportunities in the art industry,” Peck said.
“However, with the learning experiences I have had this semester in my seminar, I can see myself within the auction house industry or even managing a private art collection.”
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