Mail-Art and Money

"Mail-Art and Money don't Mix" is what Lon Spiegelman wrote in the 80-ies. Are these views still shared by the current generation of mail-artists?

Members: 30
Latest Activity: Nov 22

Discussion Forum

Samples of Mail-Art for sale

Started by Ruud Janssen. Last reply by Ruud Janssen Apr 28, 2017. 4 Replies

When you discover that mail-art is being sold. Please leave a message here with a link.Continue

Cavellini for sale via Catawiki. What do you think?

Started by Heleen de Vaan. Last reply by Richard Canard Jan 30, 2017. 4 Replies

I came across…Continue

Tags: catawiki, Cavellini, mail art for profit?, money

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Comment by Heleen de Vaan on November 21, 2019 at 8:42pm

Comment by maha on December 22, 2018 at 3:29pm

national postal museum library,smithsonian  institution libraries,


Comment by Toni Hanner -- tonipoet on January 30, 2017 at 8:17am

For me personally, mixing money and mail art would take all the enjoyment out of it. Mail art to me is a lot of things: communication, a private pleasure, but never a product, never the result of work which should be paid for. It's play, above all. I have purchased pieces of "outsider" art and even zines, when the price is basically just to help with printing and mailing costs, but I would never pay for a mail art "trade" with anything other than mail art!

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on March 4, 2016 at 10:00am
Thank you, Ruud, for your comments.
Hm, a zine or book for 20 dollars... I must confess that last year I found a zine by Ennio (Elefantus) for sale on the internet and I was confused: mail art for sale strikes against my principles.
However, the price was reasonable (10 dollars) and as this was a zine from long ago, before I got to know Elefantus, I bought it. And I must confess that I am happy to have this zine in my home, as Elefantus was a dear mail artist and the zine is interesting. Although still it feels different from other mail art things: both regular books on mail art that I've bought, and all real mail art that I received, addressed to me.
Comment by Ruud Janssen on March 4, 2016 at 7:00am

Another sample of the art market. Something I sent out in the 80-ies is now sold in the USA through Abebooks....


Bookseller Image

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Published by TAM-bulletin, Tilburg, The Netherlands, 1985
Used / Quantity Available: 1

From Steven Leiber (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

Comment by Ruud Janssen on March 4, 2016 at 6:52am

I remember Rain Rien who posted small mail-art digital items for sale on Ebay as a performance. That was fun.

Selling Brain Cell om Ebay? I don't think there are buyers.

History tells however that there will be markets for all kind of art. So mail-art might be one of those things for sure. But against the idea for sure. Like the Fluxus makers never intended to be richt, but the old generation sells quite well these days......

Comment by Heleen de Vaan on March 4, 2016 at 2:31am
See what I found at ebay:

Brain Cell (19 pieces even) from 1991, to be sold for $1500. Do you think this normal/appropriate/polite/ethical/criminal?

To my opinion mail art shouldn't be commercialized, and the seller acts against the unwritten mail art 'laws'. Mail art should be a dynamic, recyclable piece of art, an archievable or a cherishable gift.

Looking forward to knowing your opinions.
Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 12, 2015 at 8:57pm
Image Not Available

Mail-interview with Dick Higgins.


Used / Soft cover / Quantity Available: 1
From Swertz Antiquarian Bookseller (UTRECHT, Netherlands)
Available From More Booksellers
1 UsedfromUS$ 23.97
what I made and sent out is now sold with profit and actually in some musea. How time changes mail-art into an object people buying, selling and collecting.....
Comment by Ruud Janssen on June 12, 2015 at 8:51pm

There is nothing wrong with selling ART.

But selling Mail-Art is a different thing. When a piece goes direct from sender to receiver the idea that someone should pay for that is not part of the mail-art idea. Still valid in my eyes.....

Comment by TIZIANA BARACCHI on December 9, 2014 at 1:51am


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