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  • ISBN: 9780226752136
  • ISBN10: 0226752135

Art & Money

by Marc Shell

  • List Price: $40.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/1995
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Marc Shell argues that Christian ideology, ambivalent about both art and money, has conflated religion, art, and coinage. If engraving or inscription assigns value, then the first widely produced artistic "reproductions" were coins, acting as religious icons with a meaning at once spiritual and material. In the first half of the book, Shell establishes an ongoing interaction between symbolization in currency and aesthetic production. He covers a range of issues from the iconoclast controversies to nuances of Christian doctrine on the materiality of money and the significance of liturgical objects, from the Eucharist wafer to the Holy Grail to the use of precious metals in Christian icons. Shell then focuses on money in the United States. He takes up controversies over the gold standard, the development of paper currency in nineteenth-century America, and the activities of minimalist, conceptualist, and investment artists in the 1960s that led to dematerialization of art and money in electronic exchange. 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.
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