Starting a Career in the Art World

Beginning a career in the art world is not always easy. Competition for roles is high and standing out from other candidates often involves going above and beyond to impress potential employers. From our own extensive experience in art world recruitment, we have gathered some pointers to help you stay ahead of the competition, move into more senior positions, and transition to other market sectors.

Educate Yourself About the Industry

There is so much to learn about the art world that isn’t taught in schools and universities, so it is important to take the initiative and educate yourself through independent reading and research. Many subsectors contribute to this complex and ever-changing industry, and understanding their individual roles within the market is key. Employment opportunities within the art world are not just restricted to jobs in commercial galleries and auction houses – we recruit for positions within art fairs, communications agencies, artist studios, private collectors and foundations, logistics and arts management agencies, advisories, institutions, and financial businesses.

An excellent way to build your knowledge of the market across all sectors is to keep up-to-date with arts reporting in newspapers, online publications, magazines, blogs and forums. We recommend finding a few journalists you like and signing up to receive updates when they publish new content.

Recommended Reading



MELANIE GERLIS – Melanie Gerlis is the art market columnist for the Financial Times and Editor at Large for The Art Newspaper. She has been reporting on auctions, art fairs and market news globally since 2006.

GARETH HARRIS – Gareth Harris is the Chief Contributing Editor of The Art Newspaper

SCOTT REYBURN – London-based journalist who writes about the art market for the New York Times.

SARAH DOUGLAS – ARTnews editor-in-chief since July 2014 in the US.

JERRY SALTZ – Jerry Saltz is an American art critic. Since 2006, he has been senior art critic and columnist for New York magazine.

PATRICIA BICKERS – British Editor at Art Monthly Magazine.

JONATHAN JONES – Jonathan Jones writes on art for the Guardian and was on the jury for the 2009 Turner prize

Online Content & Subscriptions

Art Market Reports

The Art Market, 2022

Art Basel and UBS present The Art Market, an annual global art market analysis. The Art Market covers all aspects of the international market and highlights the most important developments in the previous year. Authored by Dr. Clare McAndrew, founder of Arts Economics, it is an independent and objective study, analyzing the global art market by looking at its different segments such as gallery business, auction houses, changing patterns of global wealth and art collecting, art fairs, online sales, and the economic impact of the art market in general.


  • Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses of the Art Market in the 21st Century, Georgina Adam (2017)
  • Ways of Seeing, John Berger (1972)
  • Out of This Century: The Autobiography of Peggy Guggenheim, Peggy Guggenheim (1946)
  • Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and its Dealers, Philip Hook (2017)
  • How to Approach a Gallery: and Have a Career in the Art World, Jenny Judova (2017)
  • Lords and Liars: The Inside Story of the Sotheby’s-Christie’s Conspiracy, Christopher Mason (2005)
  • Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars, Dominique and John de Menil, William Middleton (2018)
  • Boogie-Woogie, Danny Moynihan (2000)
  • Lucky Kunst: The Rise and Fall of Young British Art, Gregor Muir (2009)
  • Don Thompson:
    • The $12 Million Stuffed Shark (2008)
    • The Supermodel and the Brillo Box: Back Stories and Peculiar Economies from the World of Contemporary Art (2014)
    • The Orange Balloon Dog: Bubbles, Turmoil and Avarice in the Contemporary Art Market, Don Thompson (2017)
  • Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thornton (2008)
  • From Manet to Manhattan: The Rise of the Modern Art Market, Peter Watson (1992)
  • Writings on Art 2006–2021 by Robert Storr (2021)
  • The Art Fair Story: A Rollercoaster Ride by Melanie Gerlis (2021)
  • Art Is Life: Icons and Iconoclasts, Visionaries and Vigilantes, and Flashes of Hope in the Night, By Jerry Saltz (2022)

Podcasts & Films


  • Artintelligence, by Marion Maneker – Art Market Monitor
  • The Art World: What If…?!, by Allan Schwartzman and Charlotte Burns – Schwartzman&
  • Reading the Art World, by Megan Fox Kelly
  • The week in Art – the Art Newspaper
  • Bow Down: Women in Art History, By Jennifer Higgie – Frieze
  • The Conversation Art Podcast, by Michael Shaw


  • The Price of Everything, 2018 Documentary
  • Blurred Lines: Inside The Art World, 2017
  • Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint, 2019
  • Gerhard Richter Painting, 2011
  • Aggie, 2020
  • Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art, 2020

Starting a Career in the Industry


A great way to begin your career in the industry is with an internship with a gallery or auction house. Many organizations in the international artworld offer internships including:

Auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s Phillips or Bonhams. Plenty of large galleries like Gagosian, David Zwirner, White Cube & Pace also offer opportunities for more entry-level candidates.

Job Boards

It’s important to keep up to date with new roles and know how to find them. One of the best ways of doing this is by checking art world job boards regularly.

Here are some of the most widely used Job Boards within the industry:

Social Media

The ability to navigate social media platforms is an increasingly desirable skill, and applicable to most art world businesses. Why not start a separate Instagram or Twitter account dedicated to your interest in the art world, and record your visits to galleries, museums and auctions? Publishing a blog is also a fantastic way of sharing your own photos, reviews, and links to other interesting sites and articles. Look out for short courses on social media that will boost your understanding of digital strategy, scheduling and targeting specific audiences.

The Art World Calendar & Events

The art world can seem an exclusive space, however, there are many events and exhibitions open to the public which you can take advantage of to gain both knowledge and a network.

If you have the option to purchase tickets, art fairs globally offer general admission, and many offer a student rate. You don’t have to be a VIP to attend!

Auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s frequently livestream their headlining sales – a free way to follow along with major and exciting art market moments without needing to be in the room.

Gallery opening receptions are often open to the public and are an excellent way to meet peers in the art world, network, and become familiar with galleries and their programming.

Keep up to date with upcoming fairs and openings here:

GalleriesNow (Online)

See Saw (App)


As the art world becomes ever-increasingly global and businesses expand internationally, having more than one language will be of great benefit to many potential employers. If you have the option of taking an extra course to perfect any basic language skills you have, then do.


It is often said that within the art world, it’s not what you know, but who you know – and whilst it is certainly not the only way to get ahead, it can’t be denied that contacts help! Attending private views, fairs, talks and events – many of which are free to attend and open to the public – is a fantastic way to grow your network and spread the word that you are looking for new role. The more people that know you are actively looking for a job, the better, and you never know who you will meet or where a conversation may lead.

Membership programmes

If you have the option of joining, there are a number of fantastic members clubs that offer an exclusive programme of cultural events, experiences and networking opportunities for those of us working in the art world.