Platform Review: Masterworks vs Public

With platforms like Masterworks and Public, investors from all walks of life now have the opportunity to invest in Blue Chip art for a fraction of the price they would have needed less than 10 years ago.

Masterworks and Public offer similar approaches to art investment, but they each have their own set of features and benefits. In this article, we will compare the opportunity presented by Masterworks and Public across 3 important issues: How easy is it to sign up and start investing, the number of investments available, and the additional benefits they offer.

Ease to Join

The online portion of the sign up process is incredibly quick on Masterworks.

All you have to do is submit login details and indicate how much you are looking to invest. To complete your application, you will have to book a Phone Interview. I’ve covered how easy the phone interview actually is in past articles, but it is something that most investors are not used to nowadays so this could be considered a mark against Masterworks.

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Signing up to Public is just as straightforward, but without the need for a phone interview. However, Public is only available for US-based investors (Masterworks is open for investment from anyone around the world). Signing up to Public requires you to verify your US phone number. After this, all you have to do is fill in your profile details and investing goals, and then fund your account. All of this takes about 5 minutes.

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Artwork Selection

When it comes to the selection of artworks available, Masterworks takes the lead with its massive collection. Upon signing up, users are required to invest in a curated selection of 3-5 artworks recently acquired by the platform. Once past this initial stage, investors can explore Masterworks’ secondary market place, which offers hundreds of additional artworks for investment.

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On the other hand, Public offers a more limited selection of artworks. While the platform offers less than 10 artworks (at this stage), it compensates for the smaller quantity by featuring pieces exclusively from super well-known, household names (e.g., Banksy, Kehinde Wiley, Tracy Emin, Takashi Murakami). In addition to the traditional artworks offered on the platform, Public also has new-generation digital art/ NFTs from CryptoPunks, FEWOCiOUS, and XCOPY.

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Additional Benefits

When it comes to additional benefits, one notable advantage of Masterworks is the availability of free financial advisors for members. These advisors offer guidance and insights to help you keep your portfolio diversified according to your investing style. This especially comes in handy when you are browsing the Masterworks’ secondary marketplace for additional investments. Masterworks also offers members the advantage of having first dibs on new investments that the company acquires. This exclusive access ensures that investors can get in early on potentially lucrative opportunities.

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On the other hand, Public offers a unique set of additional benefits. In addition to investing in art, the platform provides the opportunity to invest in numerous other “cultural artifacts” like sneakers and trading cards. This diversification allows members to tap into different markets of interest. Public members are also given investment access to shares and other traditional assets such as stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. In a way, it can become a one-stop-shop for investing. (Public are also introducing the opportunity to invest in song catalogues in order to be paid out annual royalties which I think is very exciting).

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If you have any further questions about investing in art funds, like that offered by Masterworks, Public, or Yieldstreet, please reach out to, and we would be happy to set you on the right path. Additionally, you can learn more about Art ETFs here.