Iesa alumni testimonial MA in History and Business of Art and CollectingShaune has been appointed to the Gagosian Gallery’s sales team in New York City on Madison Avenue. She was hired because of her sales strategies to bring in new collectors and markets that have not been recognized yet by the gallery.

"The MA provided very specialized training that was perfectly balanced in both theory (art history) and business (the art market). The professors are of the highest calibre and to this day, my former academic director is a mentor and inspiration. The program is brilliantly planned and what proved to be most impactful were the intimate visits to the finest collections, both public and private, in France, England, Belgium and Italy. Every visit is a privilege. One of the highlights was attending the TEFAF fair in Maastricht and applying the knowledge of our coursework to one of the most renowned art fairs in the world.

Looking back, I realize that studying the historical patterns of European collecting has provided me with a strong vantage point that I utilize to my advantage today, when I view and assess the modern day visual art collector. I’m easily able to place collecting into a historical context thanks to my training.

For my MA thesis, “An Investigation into the Influences and Drivers of Visual Art Collector of Mainland China Today,” I explored an emerging market to identify the taste, patterns and motivations of new aspiring collectors. The fact I researched a market that wasn’t part of my course study, gave me tremendous confidence that I was able to research any market. The MA course provided me with a skill set to research even obscure territory. I have a passion for understanding the psychology of collectors and have focused on this subject since I took a class, “The Psychology of Collecting” with IESA".