Olivia BaczynskiI chose IESA’s ‘History and Business of Art and Collecting’ Master’s program for it allowed me do something that I would have not been able to have done at home, in Canada, otherwise. It allowed me to learn firsthand from various objects; to travel, explore and see for myself some of the wonders in Europe. As I’ve always had a deeper interest in antiques and European art, and some of the best collections are to be found here, this was a natural choice. During these years I have also had the privilege of meeting some very amazing people and have developed new and lasting friendships with individuals who share my passion and interests. It goes without saying that the teachers and assistants were always very supportive and are the ones to be credited with the success of the program.

This master’s prepared me by giving me the resources necessary to further develop. I learned how to look at things: how to approach, narrow and focus; how to filter out unnecessary information, which was a lesson perhaps mostly learned through the dissertation writing process. The classes certainly provided a wide knowledge base on: the art objects, their history and the market, each taught from experts in their field, and expanded on the general knowledge I had acquired during my BA. This balance of learning in class, visiting the major museums and important art fairs, as well independent academic research, were invaluable experiences. All of this eventually led me to my current job where I have the privilege of working with a large collection of antiques in a gallery, mostly 19th century objects (a favourite of mine), as the European Collection Cataloguer.

My studies made me realize what I thoroughly enjoy and what sort of career I would like to pursue, which in my case was European art and research. I am lucky to have found this job, which exactly fits this description, and is where I continue to expand my knowledge base surrounded by astounding pieces and wonderful people passionate about collecting.