Alumni Update with Nicole

I know that when many people hear the words “art history” they tend to roll their eyes or panic. I’ll admit that in high school, I didn’t find art history all that exciting, and I could care less about the differences between a Cimabue and Giotto painting. But once I came to Marywood, I realized that art history was actually very interesting and it takes a lot of work to take this knowledge and apply it to curating an art show. This week I caught up with Nicole, who took her studies in Arts Administration/History to work for a global art corporation.

Nicole ClaaseIMG_6744

Graduation Year/Major:
Class of 2012, Arts Administration
Art History minor and Interior Design concentration

Marywood Clubs/Activities:
President and member of Zeta Phi Delta, SAC Intern, Student Government Association Class Senator, Study Abroad: SACI Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy

Current Occupation:
Client Development Department Assistant at Sotheby’s – I joined Sotheby’s in Sept. 2014 as a floater, which is a temporary role that places you in a department for a few months, and then allows you to essentially float throughout the company, into various departments. It’s a 6 month to 1 year program (depending on availability) which exposes you to many experiences, business and specialist departments, and client interactions. While I did not have the typical floater role, I’ve stayed with the Client Development team for the past 6 months, and occasionally worked with Special Events and Client Services for events/gallery openings. I will be transitioning into the Silver & Objects of Vertu department (a permanent position) in the next two weeks and I will be the department Administrator and Sales Coordinator.

1) What was your favorite part about Marywood and the art department?

Being exposed to leadership opportunities! I always knew I would get involved in my undergraduate career, but initially didn’t know how. By the time I graduated in 2012, I was involved with SAC, SGA, and the sorority, on top of having completed internships with ArtWorks Gallery & Studio (downtown Scranton), the Heckscher Museum of Art (Long Island), and The Maslow Collection. More specifically with The Maslow Study Gallery for Contemporary Art, I learned a great deal from Bob Schweitzer, the Curator. We worked together for 9 months, where he taught me everything I know about the contemporary art world, the Maslow’s art collection, curatorial processes, gallery prep/exhibition installation and more.

2) Any advice for current art students at Marywood?

Make connections – go to any and all events and lectures you are invited to, you never know who you will meet. Also, internships are extremely important – absorb as much practical experience as possible while you are still in school. If you are looking to work in the NY art world, you truly do need NY experience. Do a summer internship at a gallery and expose yourself to clients, gallerists, dealer’s etc. and check out for art world jobs and internships.

3) How did your art education at Marywood help your career?

Arts Administration is a bit different than other art degrees at Marywood, but it was a nice breakdown of Art History and Business, and although the classes were on opposite ends of the spectrum, I worked to integrate art into all my business classes. For instance, I studied cases of copyright issues in my law class, analyzed creative companies such as Apple in management and marketing classes. All in all, this helped advance my academic career as I then completed my Master’s degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, where I then studied Art Law and Business Tactics in the Arts.

4) What is your favorite part about your job?

Working with people who are passionate about the arts and knowing that there are so many niche markets and roles that exist. Sotheby’s has a lot to offer as the leader in the international art market – I love that I’m able to interact with the clients, specialists, and business women/men that make it all tick.

5) If you could curate a show about any genre/type of art/artist, what would it be?

I have always been intrigued by artist/viewer participation and experience (as Bob Schweitzer will confirm!) – so probably something along the lines of an emerging artist collective that showcases collaboration and new ideas.

Featured images courtesy of Nicole Claase.


Are you interested in studying Arts Administration?

Marywood’s BA Arts Administration program provides a foundation in both art and business. It includes courses in business and global innovation, art history, and art foundation, as well as practical experience in curating and historic preservation in museums and galleries. LEARN MORE


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