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Modern Art Courses & Lecture Series

If you are interested in getting a deeper understanding of particular art topics there are a number of organizations that offer modern art courses. These courses, over multiple sessions, allow you to learn a great deal in topics as varied as particular art movements, time periods, or detailed analysis of artists. Museums, universities, and other art organizations offer various programs that are available to the public. For single-session lectures that are happening in New York City, please visit our lecture listings page.

Read the descriptions below for insights into each program and visit the provided link for schedules and fees.
Museum of Modern Art
MoMA's education department offers regular courses in modern and contemporary art topics. These courses are offered in both the daytime and evening hours, in five- to eight-week sessions. The special proposition of MoMA courses is that part of the time learning is spent in front of the actual artworks in the Museum's galleries.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Whitney courses are multi-week programs that examine key issues in twentieth- and twenty-first century American art and culture.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met offers Subscription Lectures, which occasionally cover topics in modern and contemporary art and vary in schedule. With these lectures you have the option to choose from individual talks or complete series. Tickets include admission to the Museum on the day of your event.
Sotheby's Institute of Art
Evening classes at Sotheby's are mostly attended by individuals looking to learn more about modern and contemporary art, and do not have the atmosphere of an undergraduate university lecture.s
Christie's continuing ed program offers two program options for those who are unable or do not wish to commit to a full-time degree: a Certificate in Modern and Contemporary Art in New York (part time is offered) and the Christie's Art Business Course. Terms are approximately two months long and all prospective students must apply for admission. This program is on the (very) expensive end, but the cache of obtaining a post-baccalaureate certificate from an institution like Christie's cannot be underestimated.
NYU offers a wide variety of six- to ten-week continuing education courses for individuals seeking greater insight into specific modern and contemporary art topics. Several of these courses include class visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view artworks up close. Their Course Search page is linked below.
Columbia University
Unlike most continuing education programs, Columbia courses require students to be admitted by the university, in addition to course fees, which are considerably larger than other schools. Prospective students interested in extensive post-baccalaureate studies only should apply.
School of Visual Arts
Continuing education SVA courses in modern and contemporary art topics are up to twelve weeks in length, meeting once per week, and are more affordable than other programs. However, course instructors tend to be less experienced than at other institutions.
Parsons, The New School for Design
Parsons offers semester-long continuing ed courses (thirteen weeks) in Fine Arts and Design, which often include studio assignments, site visits, facilitating critiques, and cultural history and theory. Course registration does not factor in students' experience level. Certificate programs are also offered in the same disciplines. Prospective students may wish to factor in the cost of each course, which can be considerable at The New School, one of the nation's most expensive institutions.
Pratt Institute
Pratt courses are typically eight weeks in length and meet multiple times a week. The course offerings in art history and cultural studies at Pratt's Center for Continuing and Professional Studies are not nearly as extensive as other institutions. The focus of Pratt tends to be more toward the applied arts, but students will receive excellent exposure to many talented emerging artists.
CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities
The CUNY Center for the Humanities does not offer a traditional continuing ed program, but rather seminars in a variety of topics, with registration open to the public. Each seminar is a series of six sessions, with different instructors each time (mostly CUNY faculty members), spread out over several weeks. Costs are more reasonable than other institutions, but course selection is more limited.
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