The New Online Learning Initiative Collecteurs Academy Is Teaching the Core Concepts of Collecting Art (and Much More)

Instructors include Hank Willis Thomas, Lisa Schiff, and Tino Sehgal.

Courtesy of Collecteurs.
Courtesy of Collecteurs.

What do you do if you want to learn about the art world but have no clue where to start? 

Cue Collecteurs Academy, a newly launched online learning program aiming to demystify the A to Zs of art. The academy is the latest branch of Collecteurs, a website and digital tool that bills itself the world’s first collective digital museum. 

“Collecteurs Academy is a unique educational initiative designed to help participants understand and navigate the ever-expanding, complex, and sometimes intimidating world of art and collecting,” said Jessica and Evrim Oralkan, co-founders of Collecteurs. 

Courses are divided into four themes—collecting, art making, art market, and art history—and range from one-on-one mentorship on collection building to deep dives into the world of NFTs. (Current courses open for enrollment are available here). 

Courtesy of Collecteurs Academy.

Courtesy of Collecteurs Academy.

Over the past few years, Collecteurs has become an exciting digital space that allows members to share their holdings with other members—in a sense pulling often shadowy private collections back into the light of day. The platform has also established itself as a streamlined tool for archiving and cataloging, and has been touted by users as a great way to discover new artists. 

“Collecteurs is composed of four main components: a social network, a collection management software, a curatorial platform, and now the academy, an educational initiative which we believe is crucial to rounding out a museum experience in the digital sphere,” said the Oralkans. “Our goal with the academy was to create an inclusive environment where collectors, artists, and everyone in between can learn about the inner-workings of the art world, which is typically off-limits to so many.” 

Courtesy of Collecteurs Academy.

Courtesy of Collecteurs Academy.

While existing Collecteurs patrons are sure to be among the academy’s enrollees, the program’s roster of instructors is a veritable “who’s who” of art world insiders, and seems poised to attract an even wider demographic. Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg, artists Hank Willis Thomas and Tino Sehgal, and art historian and writer Isabelle Graw are just a few of those who will be leading classes.

Some upcoming course highlights include a five-course series on the history of abstraction with Mark Godfrey and “Collecting as Practice: What Makes a Work of Art Work?” with Andrew Renton.

One of the major draws of Collecteurs Academy in comparison to other online learning platforms is the emphasis on small class sizes with Q&A sessions. Registration to Collecteurs Academy classes is open to the public—though if you’re planning to enroll in a bunch of courses, its Museum Circles membership might be right for you. Members receive complimentary access to live and recorded courses, as well as priority access to book one-on-one mentorship sessions. 

Designed for artists, collectors, curators, art lovers, and everyone in between, participants in Collecteurs Academy will emerge with a firm grasp of the A to Zs of collecting, concepts of creativity and art making, skills for maneuvering in the market, and principles of art history geared toward appreciating art in galleries and museums.

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