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Modern Art

Modern Art by Mayfair Games
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Manufacturer: Mayfair Games  Visit their site
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Players: 3 to 5
Time: 60 Minutes
Mechanics: Auction/Bidding
Ages: 10 and up
Availability: Unavailable 
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Our Price:  $20.00 - Retail $25.00
Reward Points: 2,000
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From the Publisher...

Going Once... Going Twice... Sold!

Buy your way to fame & fortune with Modern Art, the high stakes gallery auction game. Each player runs a gallery, choosing which pieces of art to sell from the collection, and which pieces to buy from other galleries. Bid on the right one and at the end of the round you could be rolling in the dough. Mistake a Pissaro for a Picasso and you could be out of luck and money. Perfect for the Arm Chair Art Critic as well as anyone who enjoys a fast-action, highly entertaining board game. For 2 to 4 players ages 10 and up. Rules now on-line.

In Modern Art, players compete to gain the most money by buying and selling paintings at auctions and reselling them for profit. All players take turns running the auctions, which come in many different styles. Whoever offers the top bid owns the painting and sells it at the end of the round. The price the painting fetches is based on the popularity of the artist and how well his paintings have sold in the past. The player with the most money at the end of four rounds of buying and selling wins. Contents: 1 board, 70 painting cards with paintings from 5 artists, 6 "Auction House" screens, 98 money coins in 6 denominations, 1 rulebook

Our Comments...

This mini-review by Mike Petty originally appeared in the July 13, 2004 newsletter:

Modern Art has always been my favorite auction game. It's actually one of my favorite games of all time as I'm always happy to play it. Mayfair recently released a new edition, making this hard to find title available once again. While any serious gamer already knows the game and most likely has a copy in his collection, I figured I'd highlight the game from expert designer Reiner Knizia for those who may be new to the hobby.

Each turn in the game, a player will sell one or more paintings by an artist. The paintings are sold in different auction methods (blind bids, open bids, etc.). Each auction method is specified on the painting cards. I should note that this is one reason I love the game. The variety of the auction methods keeps it interesting throughout.

A round ends when the fifth painting of an artist goes up for sale. At that time, everyone gets a payout for paintings that they purchased. Each painting by a particular artist is worth a price (possibly $0) based on how many paintings were sold by that artist. The result of this simple relationship of sales and prices is that players can control values of payouts based on what they sell and when they sell it. The round may end quickly or it may last several turns, allowing artists to rise and fall in value.

Furthermore, the system allows for money to be made by selling and by purchasing valuable paintings. In the end, the player who found the best balance between buying and selling will have the most money and win the game.

Modern Art is a classic and I'm very grateful to Mayfair for making it available again. If you don't own this masterpiece, consider picking one up right away!

Read more information at the Board Game Geek website


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Customer Raves - Write your own Rave about this game!
(Click on a person's name or game group to see other raves by the same person or group.

Lee Kok Khing - settlerscafe.com

Wanted to play this game for a long time but due to its out-of-print status, have not got a chance. It's a really good thing that it gets reprinted. This is a wonderful bidding game, with all possible sorts of bidding that you can imagine. The more you play, the more cut throat the price will be. Highly recommended.

GMan
Excellent auction game. Easy to learn/teach, this game offers challenging decision-making and interesting strategies. If you like bidding and bluffing, you HAVE to own Modern Art.

Gampug
The auction card game for every collection. The great thing about auction games is that they change based on who is playing them. This is a great game in a little package.

quixotequest
A beautiful card game that embraces the Reiner Knizia favorite metagame of balance, while standing as one of his "trilogy" of auction games. They way art accumulates value over the rounds is novel, as are the various styles of auctioning. Some art can be sold in a certain style of auction that favors the lead bidder, others styles favor the last bidder, others the hidden high bidder, and etc. The artwork is a little dated and, being a Mayfair Games game, the production quality is a little cheap for the price they charge. But every game collection really should have this classic.


This is a surprisingly unpredictable auction game. Just like real art, it is very difficult to predict the future value of the paintings in the game - the theme feels just right.

Ken B.
It's good...stripped down auction game with a variety of auctions. The fluctuation and constant valuation makes for some tough deicisions.

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