Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

History of Art student completes internship at Sotheby's

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Exhibition

Third-year History of Art student, Imogen Blears, completed a three month internship position at Sotheby's, one of the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery, real estate and collectibles.

Third-year History of Art student, Imogen Blears, completed a three month internship position at Sotheby's, one of the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery, real estate and collectibles.

Imogen was placed in the English and Continental Furniture department, aiding the specialists, in their projects and gaining a general understanding of the company as a whole through a diverse range of daily tasks. 

When asked about her experience at Sotheby's, Imogen answered "It was a truly special experience made unique by the department who were fantastic in facilitating an experience which allowed largely, a real practical involvement. As a result it allowed me to gain a true insight into this multifaceted company. Throughout, I gained a basic knowledge of fine eighteenth and nineteenth-century furniture, and learnt to analyse and assess the qualities inherent to the different makers of the time, for example, what defines a Thomas Chippendale desk". 

Other fond moments, involved trips with the specialists to the warehouse, viewing upcoming sale collections and being a 'fly on the wall' to the prestigious 'treasures' sale in July, one of the pre-eminent decorative art auctions of the year. Exhibited with fine finesse, these were objects carefully selected for their beauty and rarity with both royal and aristocratic provenance. 

On reflecting on her time at Sotheby's, Imogen explained the necessity of gaining work placements:

"What you learn goes far beyond the confines of university course books! It is the practical experience combined with the real-life nature of working within such a lively industry which propels you forward, not only in thought but also in character. The art world is a small, unique and ever-changing industry driven by taste. Although highly competitive, it is also hugely diverse. Having experience working within an auction house provides an all-encompassing window into the inner workings of the art world. Gaining that experience in today's ever competitive job market is no easy feat but certainly an invaluable one."