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ATLANTA (December 14, 2020) - Spelman College and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York recently announced an innovative academic partnership designed to increase access to art market education for Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective undergraduate students.


Through this new partnership, SIA will launch the SIA+Spelman Collective Futures Scholarship, an educational initiative designed to expand postgraduate pathways in the visual arts by offering one full tuition scholarship each year to attend an SIA master’s degree program.

“Sotheby’s resides at the center of the global art market. Establishing a relationship between Sotheby’s and Spelman enables our aspiring arts professionals to gain invaluable experience at the heart of a dynamic and rapidly changing art world." said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “Through scholarships, and the expansion of curricular and co-curricular programming, the SIA-Spelman partnership will become an integral part of the training of African American arts leaders.”

Students will also have access to annual collaborative events designed to encourage educational diversity, equity and access.

“This partnership provides an exciting opportunity for our inaugural class of art history and curatorial studies graduates, while leading the charge to transform the art industry through sustainable educational pathways,” said Cheryl Finley, Ph.D., director of the AUC Art Collective and distinguished visiting professor, Spelman. “We’re delighted to join Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York, a global pioneer of art business education, in this cutting-edge collaboration.”

The partnership will also include a lecture series covering a range of topics from art and art markets of the African diaspora to art valuation, law and careers. In addition, an annual symposium will offer long-term networking, mentorship and career development opportunities. The first major event will take place virtually during the spring 2021 semester and feature a convening focused on implementing strategies for structural change in the art industry.

“In our 50-year history as pioneers of art market education, we are honored to partner with the AUC Art Collective to take this important step forward to broaden African American and African Diasporic art history in our graduate curriculum and to help foster a more diverse and inclusive global art world for the future,” said Christine Kuan, CEO and director of SIA.

The AUC Art Collective, which is part of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, is housed at Spelman. The program offers a major in art history and minors in curatorial studies and art history to students at Spelman, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

About Sotheby’s Institute of Art 

Founded in 1969, Sotheby's Institute of Art (SIA) is the pioneer in the study of art and its markets. With campuses in New York and London, MA, Semester, Online, and Pre-College programs, SIA’s academically innovative and professionally focused teaching philosophy enable students to acquire specialized knowledge of art's objects, histories, and markets to impact art and arts-related industries. For more information: www.sothebysinstitute.com  

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.