Modern Art Overview

In Reiner Knizia’s board game Modern Art, you’re put in the role of a museum curator. But unlike those other museum curators who are doing it for the love of pretty pictures, you do it because it’s lucrative. Because it pays well if you do well. An art student turned stockbroker is what you’ve really become.

But guess what? Other museum curators have wised up to the game, and now that they’re seeing their sources of funding dry up, they too are looking to make the big bucks by buying and selling art. You and 2 to 3 other curators are given a supply of artworks of varying quality and will then need to squeeze as much money as you can out of them. And that can be done in one of two ways. The first way is by selling paintings to other museum curators. The second way is by buying a painting, waiting for it to increase in value when an artist become more popular, and then redeeming it for massive profits.

All of these transactions are resolved through a clever auction mechanism. And there are many types of auctions to work through. Some auctions are fast and furious bid-fests while other auctions have winners determined through secret bids.

Everyone’s goal is to make as much money as possible by treating artworks as assets whose value can rise and fall. Almost like a stock market. And like the stock market, the cadre of crookedness is present with posturing and pumping and dumping, all with the goal of profiteering. To do well, you’d be wise to figure out how to hype the paintings in your supply and predict how much a painting will be worth in the end of the round.

What you need to know about Modern Art

Core Mechanics: Auction, Valuation.

Victory Condition: In Modern Art, your goal is to get rich. As a result, the player with the most money is the winner. It’s as simple as that.

Ease of learning: Easy to learn. The way paintings are valued is easy to pick up and the additive value on later rounds need not be explained immediately; you can talk about it as you play. I’ve been able to get people ready to play with a 15-minute rules explanation. The slowest part is for people to memorize the auction types. But once players get over the hump, a game of Modern Art moves quickly and smoothly.

Purchase at:

Basic Modern Art Strategy Guide
Modern Art Review
Modern Art Video Guide

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