Black and white photograph of Susan J Mumford, Founder of Be Smart About Art

Our story…

In early 2012, our Founder, Susan J Mumford, was contemplating quitting the art world to become a barrister. She decided to try an experiment first: Would individuals running their own businesses invest in their own careers beyond 1:1 support, i.e., with workshops, courses and networking events? The resounding answer, much to the relief of Susan as an American expat who had multiple ventures as a kid, was a resounding YES. The first event was held in a gallery in London on the 27th February 2012, and the rest is history.

The idea had been sparked by running her own gallery in London’s West End between 2006-2011, followed by founding the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD) in 2009. It was clear that the internet was changing the industry fast, and players in the sector were desperate for insight, bored with the lack of transparency.

After running a busy offline & online program until 2019 – having run the first ‘hybrid’ professional development workshop in October 2013, Susan decided to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime. She co-founded ArtAML, which is a full-circle technology-based solution for AML in the art market. Her sneaking suspicion is that it would push her to the next level as an entrepreneur with more to give than ever to Be Smart About Art.

Her inkling was correct, and she’s bringing the combined experience of the art world and business alike. This uniquely positions Susan with up-to-date experience running a fast-moving enterprise and being actively involved in the industry, working with one-person start-ups to ‘mega’ galleries and auction houses.

In 2022, she’s building the Be Smart About Art Team while actively overseeing three businesses that support professionals in the art world. With Be Smart About Art, she most enjoys seeing members and bootcampers take action from the program that positively impacts their careers and livelihoods. That could be YOU!

If you want to build your art business, you’ve come to the right place, with one caveat: Taking action is your responsibility. We’re here to inform and inspire action. 🙂


“Susan is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about presenting. She makes everyone feel they can do this and be successful in the art business!”

Emma Broughton