22 May 2019


Job title: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Art or Design Before 1850

Department: MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design

Reports to: ProgrammeDirector MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design

Location: London

Type: Permanent, full time

Salary: £38,000 – £55,000


Sotheby’s Institute of Art can be found in the heart of Bloomsbury, London. Since its founding by Sotheby’s Auction House in 1969, the Institute has pioneered the education of arts professionals and offers a wide range of Masters’ degrees, semester courses, summer courses and public programmes. Academic programmes are validated by the University of Manchester, a prestigious Russell Group university.

The MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design (MAFDAD) traces its origins to the Institute’s original programme and places great emphasis on both the practice and interrogation of object-based and connoisseurial approaches in the fields of modern art, old master paintings, modern design and historical decorative arts. The Institute is now seeking to make a full-time appointment of a lecturer/senior lecturer with a specialism either in the area of Old Master Paintings or in the decorative arts before 1850. This key appointment will develop and deliver the teaching of the older historical material in the MA. The postholder will form part of the small team of MAFDAD faculty as well as contributing to the academic and professional life of the Institute, particularly by acting as a champion for object-based study and by actively contributing to the debate around redefining and interrogating connoisseurship.

This exciting opportunity will suit someone with a deep knowledge of art history and an awareness of how their specialism fits into a broad-based MA curriculum. The successful candidate will contribute substantially to the MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design and will also be a broader advocate for the Institute’s object-based approach, building partnerships and further raising the Institute’s profile.


The successful candidate will have a PhD in a relevant field and experience of higher education teaching, preferably at postgraduate level and to international students. They will have a strong understanding of art history coupled with a good knowledge of the art world and its mechanisms and may have particular expertise and experience in one of the following: museum practice; conservation; technical art history; study of materials; commercial art world practices. The post holder will be able to demonstrate a willingness to bring or to develop an appropriate network of art world professionals for the successful delivery of this programme. They will be ready to work closely with the Institute’s Marketing and Admissions departments on student recruitment. They will be able to articulate connoisseurial and object-based approaches and be able to conceptualise the regeneration of these terms in order to deliver excellent teaching in the twenty-first century.

The appointee will be:

Co-Unit Leader of the 30-credit unit ‘Fine and Decorative Art: Production and Patronage’, including timetabling, revising assessment, production of the unit handbook and delivery of teaching and marking

Unit Leader of at least one elective (currently ‘Art and Authentication’)

Tutor on the Navigating the Art World unit

Accompanying study trips at home and abroad

Supervising MA dissertations

Acting as a personal tutor

Assisting the MA Fine and Decorative Art and Design Programme Director in the smooth day-to-day running of the programme, and of the academic quality and pastoral welfare of the students, including the role of Admissions Officer on the MA

Teaching on the Institute’s semester and public programmes as necessary

Incorporating new and relevant information and ideas into the MA programme

Candidates must have:

A PhD in Art History in either the area of Old Master Painting or on Decorative Arts before 1850

Experience of teaching at undergraduate or postgraduate level

Excellent communications skills, flexibility and interpersonal skills

A student-centred approach

The ability to work within a small committed academic team, to be collegial, a team player, and to liaise closely with programme coordinators

The drive to act as a champion for object-based teaching both within the Institute and externally


Publications in the relevant field

A demonstrable interest in, or experience of, the commercial art world in these sectors

Experience of teaching international students

Experience of creating and leading programme units (modules)

Experience of collaboration with prominent cultural institutions

Completion of a Higher Education teaching qualification

Updated: May 2019

Please note the following:

Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.

Please submit both your CV and a covering letter for this position. The covering letter should detail your interest in this role and the relevant skills and knowledge you feel you can bring to the role and to the Institute.

Please submit all documents to: vacancies@sothebysinstitute.com

Please state in your email where you have seen this role advertised.

Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 10thMay 2019


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