Time Essay: A Modest Proposal: Royalties for Artists

TIME ESSAY

For more than ten years we have been swamped in a glutinous flow of propaganda about art as investment. It oozes from every crack in our visual culture and its molds proliferate on every class and kind of object, from medieval ivories to Dogon totems, from a sepia drawing by Rembrandt to a Deruta pot or a Motherwell collage. There is practically no work of art immune to it, and its effects on the perception of art have been, in general, disastrous. The problem is not simply that art costs money; it always...

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