Benjamin Wu.

Project Description


This summer, I plan to intern at the auction house Christie’s in order to explore whether the business side of the art world is the right career path for me. My interest in history and art goes back to my childhood collecting state quarters; I still vividly recall the novelty of periodically encountering new coin designs—how a careful study of the intricate imagery on those coins slowly reveal the rich history behind each state represented. This early experience and the revelation that tangible objects we encounter every day can “bring history to life” was transformative in shaping my ongoing passion in history and art as a scholar and collector.

In many ways, interning at Christie’s seems like the clear, logical next step towards my ultimate career goal of working in the art world (by helping tease out whether a museum or a commercial setting is a better personal fit); not only can I continue to develop the research and cataloguing skills I am continually learning as a museum intern, I can now also apply my business and collector experience when working at an auction house. As an Art History and Archaeology Interdisciplinary major, working at a prestigious firm like Christie’s will allow me to interact directly in the international art market, which I have taken special interest in after taking Professor Susan Kaplan’s class titled “Who Owns the Past,” an archaeology course covering the ethical and cultural issues surrounding ownership of important works of art. My time in Professor Kaplan’s class inspired me to list the antiquities and restitution departments at Christie’s as my first choices to work in. Here I can experience first-hand the process of restitution and provenance research we extensively covered in class.

Project Details

  • Date December 5, 2018
  • Tags 2018, Arts, Business, Finance
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