Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Business Plan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Paul Melton


To even some of the wealthiest individuals across the United States, and the globe, the art world presents itself as an exclusive, members-only club. The largest hub of the international art market in the United States is, of course, New York City. From an outsider’s perspective, the stakes are high, and the atmosphere is daunting. We have come to realize that there are many wealthy individuals residing in less art-centric regions across the country, with the means to collect and invest in art, who simply have little idea of where to even begin. For the most part, they tend to lack the knowledge of the market and connection to the process which is essential. We strongly believe that becoming acquainted with artworks, artists and collection building should be an exciting, illuminating and inspiring experience.

We, Talia Simon and Anna Johnston, propose an experience-based art advisory firm: Simon Johnston Art Advisors. Rather than pressing potential clients straight into business transactions, we will offer them the opportunity to take part in bi-annual, weekend-long trips (the first of which will take place here in New York) and join us for an ultra-exclusive look into the inner-workings of the art world. Each trip will have a theme that will directly relate to the current collecting patterns in the Contemporary market. We plan to use our knowledge of the arts and connections within the art market to provide our groups with access to museum, gallery and auction house openings and previews; artist and private collection talks and tours, and finally, the best accommodations and dining that New York has to offer. It is our hope that these trips will inspire participants to utilize us as advisors and begin to build or enhance their collections with the help of our expertise.