Minsky Finances $10,000 Debenture

Minsky Finances Incorporated

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Minsky Finances Incorporated $10,000 Debenture
Oil and gold leaf on canvas
48" x 60"

Because of his background in Economics and the Philosophy of Art, Minsky was asked many times to comment on several related issues of 20th century aesthetics: the relationship of the artist to the corporation, corporate art, and art as investment. After thinking about it for ten years, Minsky founded Minsky Finances Incorporated, a New York corporation, approved by the New York State Attorney General and the NY State Banking Department. The corporation itself was a work of art. It issued financial instruments which were works of art, including stock certificates and the above debenture. Instead of art as investment, Minsky made investments as art.

The debenture was created as both a legal document, which was issued in accord with the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as a work of art. As a debenture it was a coupon instrument of ten years at ten percent. In order to collect the interest, the bearer was required to cut one of the coupons (containing the predella scenes) from the debenture each year and redeem it for the interest payment. At the end of ten years, presentation of the central body of the instrument was required to collect the principal. The bearer therefore could have the painting as investment or art, but not both. This painting gathered an extraordinary amount of attention, with articles in The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Money magazine and Art and Antiques (see the bibliography).

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  • Section A Bindings 1968-79
  • Section B Bindings 1979-85
  • Section C Bindings 1986-88
  • Section D Sculptural Bookworks from 1988
  • Section E Bindings 1988-94
  • Section F Painted Car, Watercolor studies, Bindings
  • Section G Sculptural bookworks 1988, 1994
  • Minsky's Resume and Bibliography