Photo by Rachel Helfand of the Montpellier Auction House

$138 USD per device. 4 programs, held weekly. Enroll in all 4 or choose only the ones that interest you. Each program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Wednesdays, April 7, 14, 21, 28 at 11:30 am EST
  • Saturdays, April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 at 11:30 am EST
  • Sundays, May 2, 9, 16, 23 at 10:00 am EST
  • Wednesdays, May 5, 12, 19, 26 at 11:30 am EST
  • Saturdays, June 5, 12, 19, 26 at 9:00 am EST
  • Wednesdays, June 9, 16, 23, 30 at 11:30 am EST

The French auction world, galleries and antique markets are a treasure trove for collectors who know where to look.  This series will demystify the process of finding and acquiring meaningful and beautifully made objects.  You’ll learn what to look for and how.  Avoid some of the pitfalls in your hunt from home for that perfect piece. This series will help prepare you for your next trip, introducing you virtually to the sites and pleasures of France’s emporium of affordable and abundant arts.

Your educator Rachel Helfand, is an avid photography and ceramics collector.  Currently based in Montpellier, France,  she has also lived and worked in London, Paris, Geneva and Aix-en-Provence.  She holds an MA in Art History from Richmond University London.  Rachel previously taught classes about the art market at the American University in Paris, and worked as both guide and management team member for Paris Muse. She currently collaborates as an art consultant with her French husband at his Montpellier auction house.

Collecting France features:

An Intro to French Auctions

The French auction house system is the pinnacle of treasure hunting in Europe,  but it can be overwhelming and even confusing, with its centuries-old customs and practices.  Get an insider’s take on the history of how they work.  We will demystify French auctions (hôtel des ventes) so that you can browse and bid with confidence.  Bring a piece of French art and history into your home.

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Inside a Montpellier Auction House

Live from the south of France, you and your instructor will enjoy a rare behind-the-scenes look at a large regional auction house (hôtel des ventes) in Montpellier. You’ll see first hand what the pros do. How are sales prepared? How are objects like art, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments and historical memorabilia valued? A delightful introduction to a very French world, designed to get you thinking about how you can bring a piece of history home.

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The Art of Ceramics

France has been a center for ceramics since the origins of the craft. Today, the tradition is as vital as ever. Ceramics provide an accessible intro into the history and artistry of France’s unique regions. They are also fairly easy to collect! In this program, you’ll learn about the traditional production centers, where artisans create. We’ll take a look at a few key French dealers, to prepare you for future treasure hunts in galleries, antique markets, and auction houses.

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There’s no place like Paris for discovery photography, old and new. The city is a hub for creating, exhibiting and thinking about the photographic arts. Photography’s 19th-century pioneers started here, after all. Looking to learn more about how to collect your own photographs? We’ll take you on an introductory virtual tour of who’s selling what and when. Start honing your collector’s eye, to find photographs that bring you both joy and meaning. It’s another way to connect personally with the history and culture of France.

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Any questions? Check out our FAQs.

Image: © Rachel Helfand Giuseppi

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