Past Program

France: The Art Market in Paris, Past & Present

This course offered an insider’s look at past and current mechanisms of selling, buying, and exhibiting art. The goal was for artists and designers at RISD to understand the aftermath of art-making, something that they will eventually engage with once they become professionals.

This course has been completed.


Global Summer Studies
  • Paris, France
Summer 2022

Course Dates: Jun 19, 2022 — Jul 10, 2022

Open to RISD students, Brown University students, non-RISD students

2.5 GPA required. Non-RISD participants see eligibility requirements below.

  • Art History
Program Partners

International Studies in History and Business of Art & Culture

Academic Credits
  • Theory and History of Art and Design

Included tuition, accommodation, studio space, in-country transportation, field trips, entrance fees, some group meals and international travel health insurance.

GSS22 France Art Market 2
GSS22 France Art Market 1

About this Travel Course

Course Description

This course offered an insider’s look at past and current mechanisms of selling, buying, and exhibiting art. The goal was for artists and designers at RISD to understand the aftermath of art-making, something that they will eventually engage with once they become professionals. Through the example of an iconic location, the city of Paris, we examined issues such as: What is at stake when art is displayed for sale? How does it get a price value in the first place and who decides? What gets auctioned, how and why? We also discussed ethics and how licit or illicit artifacts on display in public and private museums may be. To do this, we replaced art collecting in its historical and social contexts and explored the part of colonialism in the formation of collections in the West, as exemplified by the Parisian situation. Consequently, we tackled the topic of the present-day trend for restitutions. How critical of the art market can we be as we experience it in the flesh? What kind of resistance exists to decolonizing the art market in Paris? From the classroom to the Louvre to the art dealer shop to the auction house to street art, this was a journey into the history of art display and transactions.

We availed ourselves of a classroom at the International Studies in History and Business of Art & Culture (IESA), a private upper-education school that trains future art agents. Art history classes prepared visits to museums and monuments but also offered space for discussion and criticism. Most of the teaching time, nevertheless, took place on-site, touring public and private locations that display art (for sale or not). We visited and interviewed art dealers, gallerists, curators, auctioneers, and scholars. At the IESA gallery, students had the opportunity of exhibiting their own homework as a conclusion of their Parisian stay.

Learning Outcomes + Assignments

  • Increased awareness of the world of art sales at a practical level in order to reflect on one’s own artistic production and its future transactions
  • Museology: understood the significance of display and how it creates a further layer of meaning
  • Art history: gained knowledge in the history of collections, taste, special architecture for them; understood the part of colonialism and the Western appropriation of colonial artifacts; be cognizant of the debate on restitutions
  • Communication: developed the ability to devise informed interviews, ask relevant questions, and raise thorny issues without embarrassing your interlocutor
  • Created a collective exhibition; communicating with an audience


To participate in RISD Global Summer Studios, all students were required to stay in RISD- provided housing for the duration of the course. Students were accommodated in single occupancy rooms with bathrooms and a kitchenette available in each room.


RISD Students

If your current cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above, you are eligible for registration. If your current cumulative GPA is lower than 2.5, you must first contact the Registrar at to seek exception to this academic policy.

Non-RISD Participants

If you are a college student currently enrolled in another art/design college or institution around the world, or a professional practicing in the field, you are eligible for registration. We will collect a recommendation/support form from your institution/workplace.

In order to register for RISD Global summer studies, you are expected to have a high level of English (speech, writing, and comprehension) as all coursework and critique is delivered in English.

Attendance Policy

Global Summer Studies are three weeks long and take place in June/July, and you are required to attend all program activities scheduled during the travel course. RISD Global Summer Studies comply with RISD class attendance policy. In case of unexcused or multiple absences, you may be removed from the course, given a grade of “W" (withdrawal) or a grade of “F” (fail).

Withdrawal Policy

Requesting to withdraw from a RISD off-campus global learning program, including RISD Global Summer Studies, prior to the start of the course is highly discouraged and requires a formal process outlined in the RISD course withdrawal policy. It is not possible for a student to drop a RISD Global Summer Studies travel course via the standard Add/Drop process after it has commenced. In the case of unforeseen and extenuating circumstances (and only after students have spoken with the faculty lead and RISD Global for approval to withdraw from the program), students should be aware that no refund will be issued.

More Info

In order to reserve a seat, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required at the time of application submittal. Students will have until April 1, 2022, to submit full payment. Students that fail to make full payment by their deadline will forfeit their $500 deposit and their seat in the course. New application submissions starting April 1 are not eligible to make a deposit and must make full payment by April 15, 2022.

All RISD students enrolled in RISD and other full degree schools/universities are required to remain in good academic standing in order to participate in Global Summer Studies. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for all RISD students. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the course, either before or during the course.

In cases where summer travel courses and studios do not reach full capacity, the course may be canceled after the last day of registration. As such, all students are advised not to purchase flights for participation in Global Summer Studies courses until the course is confirmed.

Apply to Global Summer Studies

The deadline for Global Summer Studies 2024 has now passed.

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1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

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