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Education arm in funding push for birthday bash

While Christie’s celebrates 250 years, its education business is marking the 30th anniversary of setting up its trust by gearing up its fundraising programme.

The core event is a two-day conference that ties in with the parent company’s 250 years in business. Creating Markets, Collecting Arts: Celebrating 250 Years of Christie’s (14-15 July) takes place at the auction company’s global headquarters in King Street, London.

Confirmed speakers at the conference include Craig Clunas, a professor of the history of art at the University of Oxford, and Inge Reist, the director of the New York-based Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting. The topics for discussion “put the academic at the forefront” while acknowledging the auction house’s integral role in the art market, according to Rebecca Lyons, who leads Christie’s Education’s fine and decorative art course.

Full-price tickets cost £140 and can be bought online (visit www.christies.com/conference2016).

Christie’s Education was founded in 1978, and its bursary and scholarship-awarding trust was launched in 1986. By the end of 2015, the trust had distributed £384,200 towards 86 scholarships and had donated £77,400 to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to support 54 annual internships in Venice. Its new funding target is £500,000.

Christie’s Education runs courses in London, New York and Hong Kong, which are accredited by Glasgow University. Alumni include Jussi Pylkkänen, now the global president of Christie’s. “I cannot say I was a natural at the outset, and I nearly failed the legendary slide test on my first day, but it was such a fantastic education that by the end, I felt fully equipped to start my career seriously,” Pylkkänen writes on Christie’s Education’s website.