It may seem that the concept of art as an investment or an alternative asset is a new phenomenon, but the reality is quite the opposite. Individuals, families, and businesses have recognised the benefits of art as an investment, such as its low correlation to traditional assets, for centuries, and amassed great wealth in the process.
The Medicis, the Italian banking family and political dynasty that ruled Florence from the early 1500s, are arguably the ultimate example of how wealth in one field can be harnessed to provide sponsorship for artists. Their commissions allowed artists such as Donatello, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, to concentrate on their work free from day-to-day worry. Their farsightedness helped foster the Renaissance and endowed the Medicis and, in time, the world with breath-taking art.
More importantly, the Medicis demonstrated art was a shrewd investment. An investment in the artist but also in their own family, building equity that demonstrated their culture and contribution to society. Over time, it also proved a store of financial value: inflation adjusted and with appreciation, their wealth would stand at around $129 billion. A competitor for Jeff Bezos.
More recently, the names of several leading 20th Century American collectors may ring bells, not least as many were giants of industry. In the build-up to the Second World War, American midwestern ‘oil baron’, J. Paul Getty, took advantage of art prices dropping and collected European paintings en masse. When he died, he left most of his estate to the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust, the trust that runs the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles with assets, including the art, now valued at around $10 billion.
David Rockefeller was another major collector. His mother helped found New York’s Museum of Modern Art and her artistic interests rubbed off on him. Throughout his lifetime, his art investments totalled 15,000 works of art, donating paintings by Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin and Matisse to the Museum. In 2007, he sold a painting by Mark Rothko at Sotheby’s in New York for almost $73 million. He had bought it in 1959 for $10,000.
Art as a store of value is not solely a thing of the past, as apparent in the collections of some of the leading businessmen who have turned to investing in art. François Pinault, the founder and head of the Kering Group, has created a luxury good behemoth and a personal fortune of €40 billion euros, which has allowed him to devote much attention to contemporary art. A personal collection of works spearheaded by Post-War and Contemporary art luminaries like Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jackson Pollock is housed in his personal temples to his collection of over 10,000 works by almost 400 artists: a reimagined Bourse de Commerce in Paris, and the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice.
Pinault’s endeavours are rivalled by Bernard Arnaud, CEO of LVMH, who elevated his love of art with the inauguration of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a $135 million Frank Gehry–designed museum in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne. With a collection that spans the 20th and 21st centuries, exhibitions have brought together celebrated artists from Claude Monet and Joan Mitchell to Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Undoubtedly, like the Medicis, these five examples of buying, collecting, and gifting art to be enjoyed by others is a potent demonstration of success and of taste; their art investments providing a constant dividend of cachet and, as auction performances show, significant financial return.
The social, cultural, and monetary currency of art has created a dynamic commercial environment where collectors not only buy and hold, but also buy and trade. In 2021, the total value of transactions in the global art market amounted to just over $65 billion1. In 2022, new records were set for the most expensive Post-War & Contemporary work of art at auction – Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn for $195 million – and most expensive single owner sale – over $1.6 billion for the Paul G. Allen Collection. The market continues to flourish.
Indeed, the sale of the Paul G. Allen Collection best illustrates what all the collectors listed above knew when it comes to art as an investment: it’s a powerful alternative asset and store of value. Of the works that Allen had previously purchased at auction, and were resold in the November 2022 sale, the average appreciation was 315.5%2.
We welcome any owner who wants to unlock liquidity from their collections to contact our Fine Art Team. This includes individual investors, galleries, institutions, and artists. Please reach out if you're interested in listing your artwork on the Mintus platform.
All artwork offered by Mintus is stored in climate-controlled, specialist art storage facilities, under a Mintus account. Current paintings are held in a facility in Delaware.
Artwork is acquired through our unique relationships with the world’s most renowned collectors and galleries. Our Fine Art Team marries their own expertise with insights from fellow industry experts to identify one-of-a-kind investment opportunities from established artists with high-growth potential. Our team examines metrics such as the artist’s market track record, recent price velocity and momentum, and the size of their international collector base when making investment decisions.
If you need support you can send an email to [email protected] or schedule a call using the links on each page of our website. If you need to make a complaint you can write to [email protected]. A description of our complaints policy is set out in the Investment Terms & Conditions for each investment.
Mintus Trading Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom under firm reference number 942522. For more details on our regulatory permissions please see the Financial Services Register.
For more information on risks, see the Memorandum for the relevant artwork and the important disclosures.
Mintus does not sell NFTs. NFTs are digital assets. Mintus enables qualifying investors to participate in the art market by purchasing interests in high value, physical artworks. Mintus’ platform facilitates investment in real, iconic artworks created by established artists.
Mintus will introduce a Secondary Market for investors in permitted locations, which will facilitate selling of shares to buyers, dependant on demand.
According to the regulations, certain investments can only be made available to investors who fall within these categories and Mintus must also follow appropriateness requirements when registering investors.
Fees are dependent on the specific artwork and the specific structure of the investment opportunity. Fees are clearly shown in advance for each artwork / investment opportunity, as displayed in the Memorandum that relates to the artwork / investment opportunity; this document is available to download from the profile of each artwork under the Opportunities section.
Both individual investors and institutions can invest in artworks. Individual investors will need to declare themselves to be ‘high net worth individuals’, ‘sophisticated investors’ or 'accredited investors' during the account creation process. Individual investors will also need to pass an appropriateness assessment. Professional investors including wealth managers, private banks and family offices should contact our team for more information on investing as an entity or managing multiple client accounts on the platform.
For the opportunities listed, a minimum investment of $3,000 is required however investments can be for any amount above this and generally range from $15,000 to $100,000. International payments are accepted.
Funds can be sent from any denomination into our USD bank account. We will show you the estimated cost in your chosen currency during the investment process, however this may change at the point of transfer, and does not account for fees charged by your bank. When transferring, your bank may show an estimated conversion; alternatively the funds can be sent in your local currency and converted at the point of receipt. Other transfer services such as Wise display exact fee and currency conversion rates to ensure you're sending the subscribed amount.
Mintus does not provide tax advice. We recommend that investors obtain their own tax advice as every person has specific tax circumstances. Generally, income and profits generated from your investment can be subject to either income tax or capital gains tax (depending on the individual investor and the specific structure of the investment). Artworks are not income-generating during the period they’re held. If you are unsure about your tax or other legal requirements, please speak to a professional advisor.
Not directly. In order to take an investment from one artwork to another, shares would need to be sold to a willing buyer on the future Mintus Secondary Market and then proceeds reinvested on the platform. The Secondary Market will only be available in permitted locations.
Typically, valuations occur at the end of June and December, with reports distributed to investors as soon as possible thereafter.
All actions in relation to the asset are at the discretion of Mintus. Mintus will communicate with investors on a six-monthly basis with an update on the net asset value, and any further news will be communicated on an ad-hoc basis.
Distributable profits will be made available to investors as soon as possible, once all sale-related administration is complete.
Profits will be received into your Mintus wallet, with the option to withdraw the profits into a bank account or reinvest on the Mintus platform.