The School's History

In the 27 years since its founding, IESA has established itself as the leading international art school for cultural events management, the art market, and digital studies.  Continually monitoring developments in these fields, we offer innovative new training programs for students and adults. 

Seeking out new skills and applying them to real-world projects and on-the-job training:  this is the groundbreaking principle on which all of IESA’s programs have been built since 1985.  

  • 1985 First training programs offered in the Art Market and Expertise  
  • 1990 First three-year undergraduate program offered in the Art Market
  • 1993 Creation of the Cultural Events Management department
  • 1994 Creation of the Multimedia Gallery; first programs offered in digital project production
  • 1995 Creation of the “Gardens-Landscapes-Environment” program 
  • 2000 Opening of the Cultural Events Management campus, followed by the Multimedia campus (2003)
  • 2003 Opening of the IESA- UK office in London
  • 2005 First Master of Arts in History and Business of Art and Collecting, validated by the University of Warwick
  • 2006 Opening of the Summer Session programs in Florence, Paris and London
  • 2008 Launch of a two-year Master’s-level program in Cultural Communication and Financing
  • 2009 Opening of the IESA office in Beijing, China
  • 2009 Launch of the Année Préparatoire Programme with the Sorbonne University
  • 2010 Launch of a two-year Master’s-level program in the Art Market, followed in 2011 by the Master’s-level program in Digital Strategy and Management
  • 2011 Opening of the MA in History and Business of the Contemporary Art Market validated first by Liverpool John Moores University and now by the University of Warwick
  • 2011 First MBA in partnership with the Paris School of Business (ESG)
  • 2012 Launch of the Semester Programme in English with CIS and validated by Jacksonville University

As these art programs were being developed, we continued to expand internationally, organizing conferences abroad as early as 1987.  In 1994, we created our first academic exchange program with Sotheby’s Educational Studies (London), before establishing an office in Belgium (2000) and creating our first  multi-city programs (Paris, Florence, Brussels, London) in 2004.

In 2007, IESA joined the Erasmus University Charter; in 2008, we signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and in 2009, we opened a representative office in Beijing.  We continue to develop numerous partnerships with universities and cultural organizations.