Art & Money

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In our age of art as investment and of skyrocketing prices at the gallery and the auction house, the study of art and money has become urgent—at least for investors and cultural critics. At the same time, crises in finance have disrupted economic and credit institutions and in turn assumptions about the value of art. Art & Money is a frank, provocative, and entirely unconventional look at two worlds in tandem, focusing on what binds together and drives apart the realms of art and money. Profusely illustrated, it investigates how money becomes (or is) artwork and how artwork comes to assume some of the characteristics of money.

Unlike traditional approaches to the topic, Art & Money is not a study of money and exchange as an artistic "theme." It is also not a study of economics as a context for the history of art. Rather, it is a path-breaking exploration of the internal logic—the set of meanings and values—common to both money and art.

Art & Money provides striking insight into current matters of art collection, counterfeiting, and problems of attribution, into the general relation between word and image, and into controversies over taxation and crises or scandals in the financial world. Shell's historical range is immense, and he fills this study with amusing anecdotes and insights ranging from the relic of the Holy Foreskin to the state's arrest of J. S. G. Boggs, a conceptual artist who draws money. Illustrated with over one hundred halftones and eight color plates, this stunning volume will force a rethinking of our old presumptions about where money ends and art begins.

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pg. 49 - it is as if the crucified God who cancels all debts were to become his own redemption money.


Gustav Klimt Danae 19078
Anton Stankowski One Becomes Two Aits Eins wird Zwei 1990
Illuminated manuscript Chludov Psalter ninth century
Chalice with irradiating wafer nineteenth century
Communion Token
Communion token Ballingry Church Scotland 1864
Communion token 1613
Crucifix France 175075
Maitre de la Manne The Collection of Manna fifteenth century
Gold octadrachm of Ptolemy III 246221 B C
Illumination from Lancelot du Lac early fifteenth century
The Holy Foreskin
Tax Advice
America 56 Notes 140
FOUR Conclusion

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About the author (1995)

Marc Shell is Professor of Comparative Literature and English and American Language and Literature at Harvard University.

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