How to Invest in Joan Mitchell on Masterworks

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Joan Mitchell was an American abstract expressionist painter and printmaker. You will find her works on display at great museums across the globe, such as the New York Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. You can also invest in Joan Mitchell art through Masterworks.

A wooden easel holds a white canvas and is surrounded by bins of different size paintbrushes.

Source: Shutterstock

This platform, which was launched in 2017, has the mission to make it “possible for everyone to invest in blue-chip artwork.” Some of the artists include Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Claude Monet and Willem De Kooning.

The founders of Masterworks have extensive experience in the art and tech worlds. They were also able to get the financial backing of Loop Ventures.

Masterworks has a rigorous process for its art investing. Consider that it has a massive database of auction data to find those pieces of art that have the best investment potential. Then, after it makes an acquisition, there will be a display at its gallery in New York and registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Masterworks will hold onto the art for anywhere from three to five years and the shareholders will get a piece of the profits.

Art Investing and Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell earned her BFA and MFA degrees from Smith College and the Art Institute of Chicago. After this, she traveled to France for one year because she won the Nelson Raymond Foreign Traveling Fellowship. It was during this period that her art became much more abstract. Some of her influences came from Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning. Mitchell would quickly become a rising star in the art world.

She once said about her work: “My paintings are titled after they are finished. I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me — and remembered feelings of them, which of course become transformed.”

Some of the characteristics of her art include brash colors, strong brushstrokes and box shapes. She would also often create large pieces, which could have various panels.

Rhubarb Painting

As to how to invest in Joan Mitchell, Masterworks acquired her “Rhubarb” painting for $4.5 million. She painted it in 1962 while she was in Paris. The “Rhubarb” has her hallmark vibrant colors and strong energy.

According to Masterworks: “The year, colors, size and execution of Rhubarb make it a particularly commercial and desirable work by the artist.” In fact, during the past decade, similar works from Mitchell have seen strong appreciation in auction markets.

In 2018, “12 Hawks at 3 O’Clock” (1960) sold for $14 million and “Untitled” (1960-1965) fetched $11.9 million in 2014.

Invest in Joan Mitchell?

Masterworks is offering $5 million in shares at $20 a piece for “Rhubarb.” The minimum investment is $10,000 and there is limit of $100,000. But Masterworks has the discretion to waive these restrictions.

Now when it comes to private investing in art, there are certainly notable risks. After all, the interest in certain artists can wane. As Masterworks notes in its SEC filing:

Temporary consumer popularity or ‘fads’ among collectors may lead to short-term or temporary price increases, followed by decreases in value. … These conditions and trends are difficult to predict and may adversely impact our ability to sell the Painting for a profit.”

Thus, regarding an investment in Joan Mitchell’s art, it is important to understand the potential downsides and make sure an investment fits with your own diversification requirements.

Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is an advisor/board member for startups and author of various books and online courses about technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, The Robotic Process Automation Handbook and Learn Python Super Fast. He is also the founder of WebIPO, which was one of the first platforms for public offerings during the 1990s. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Investing through equity and real estate crowdfunding or asset tokenization requires a high degree of risk tolerance. Despite what individual companies may promise, there’s always the chance of losing a portion, or the entirety, of your investment. These risks include: 

1) Greater chance of failure
2) Risk of fraudulent activity
3) Lack of liquidity
4) Economic downturns
5) Dearth of investor education 

Read more: Private Investing Risks 

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