Cosmoscow Blog

Let's start to collect

The Cosmoscow Foundation for Contemporary Art launches its first online educational course How to Collect Contemporary Art. The list of lecturers includes representatives of leading art institutions from the curator of the State Tretyakov Gallery and Commissioner of the Ural Industrial Biennial to the owners of leading contemporary art galleries.

The course is designed for aspiring art collectors and connoisseurs. It will help them to keep up with the latest trends and contexts. The pool of lecturers includes 12 successful practitioners from various fields, many of whom are collectors themselves. They will share their experience and talk about the activities of international contemporary art fairs, galleries, and auction houses, about up-and-coming Russian artists, and will also give a general understanding of the functioning of the contemporary art market. The course will provide answers to such fundamental questions as:
  • How to navigate among the names of contemporary artists and various media;
  • Where and how to acquire art and what to look for when buying;
  • How prices are being set, and who the main players of the art market are.

The course will enable pupils to start their own collecting journey, while the Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair will serve an excellent platform for this endeavor. 

As a bonus, pupils will have access to an interview with Kirill Ivanov, the frontman of the SBP4 music band. Together with Alexey Maslyaev (curator, educator, head of the Scientific and Methodical Work at the MMOMA educational department), they will discuss the values of collective and anonymous art and talk about culture beyond hierarchies.

The course is divided into four sections. The first one is dedicated to the artist as the main object of the collector’s attention. Anna Arutyunova (historian and head of Pro Helvetia Moscow) will give a lecture on how relations between artists and the art market were built in the 20th century. Irina Gorlova (art critic and head of the Contemporary Art Department at the State Tretyakov Gallery) will talk about the main stages of the State Tretyakov Gallery’s collection of contemporary art formation and will present a broad array of key Russian contemporary artists.

The second section will highlight the relationship between artists and gallery owners. Alina Hannah (head of Russia & Middle East at the White Cube gallery) and Marina Gisich (owner of the Marina Gisich gallery) will share their observations about the galleries' activities, and will also reveal what influence gallery owners had on the formation of the art environment in different countries and how they launched young artists’ careers. Natalia Glyankina (art adviser, Ex-Chief Operating Officer at Phillips Moscow) will reveal the specifics of the auction houses’ activities. Ekatherina Iragui (owner of Galerie Iragui) and Anna Naumova (co-founder of the SAMPLE project supporting young artists) will talk about the most famous and affordable contemporary art fairs. Alisa Prudnikova (Commissioner and Artistic Director of the Ural Industrial Biennial) will speak on how contemporary art biennale can be a useful tool for collectors.

The third section will be dedicated to collecting unusual formats. Irina Mogilatova (founder of the MIRRA collection design gallery) will focus on collecting design objects; Elena Zavelev (director and founder of the CADAF digital art fair) will share the specifics of collecting media art; and Cosmoscow Foundation curator Alexander Burenkov will draw a parallel between contemporary art and blockchain technology.

The fourth section will welcome pupils to immerse themselves in the legal aspects of art collecting: Georgy Pilia (Deputy Director of the Cosmoscow Foundation, Cosmoscow Legal Advisor) will give a lecture on the legal aspects of acquiring art objects.

The course offers three plans: First Step, Professional, and Collect. Each of them gives access to all video materials, an invitation to webinars for 90 days, and the opportunity to communicate with the curator who will help both with organizational issues and with absorbing the knowledge. Pupils who purchase advanced plans will have access to assignments following each lecture. They will also receive a graduation diploma and an invitation to one of the Cosmoscow events.

All the proceeds from the course will benefit the implementation of the Cosmoscow Foundation for the Contemporary Art programs. The Foundation operates in three areas: production of cultural projects, education, and acquisitions on behalf of museum collections.

A complete list of lecturers and topics of the course, as well as the cost of each plan, are available on the website: