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Bruce Minney (American, 1928-2013)


Birth Place: Oakland, CA USA


Who was painter Bruce Minney?

Bruce Minney was a commercial artist and painter whose work in magazines, paperbacks, and movie storyboards have all become part of the very fabric of American pop culture. Later in his career, he made a successful transition into mixed media, collages, and ceramics -- the latter of these would even win him some awards. 

His work, which was frequently risque and border-line tawdry, didn’t reflect the man himself. Minney was a family man who chose his line of work because it allowed him to spend more time with his family. Though he frequently worked with Men’s magazines in the 1960s and 1970s, it would be his work for Harlequin, Ace, and other paperback publishers that would cement his place in the American zeitgeist. Often overtly sexual and violent, there was wry humor at play in many of Minney’s pieces, giving his work a timelessness that many of his peers did not enjoy.

What kind of art does Bruce Minney make?

Overwhelmingly, Bruce Minney was a commercial artist, making paintings that would be used in many popular paperbacks, magazine covers, and storyboards. His artwork often depicted women in various states of undress, often engaged in violent conflict with nazis, bikers, or other rough characters. It would be Minney’s sense of humor and adventure that would prevent these covers from descending into tastelessness. These are the exact qualities that make Minney’s art so popular today. 

How did painter Bruce Minney get started?

Bruce Minney was born in the Bay Area, attending Oakland High and the California School of Arts and Crafts. Minney married young, working as a fireman to support his family while simultaneously trying to start a fledgling art career. In 1950, the family moved to New York City where Minney met Eddie Balcourt - a successful commercial art agent - and together they launched a career that would span several decades. While initially a magazine illustrator, Minney would move to paperbacks in the 1970s when men’s magazines began to decline in popularity. He would go on to produce over 400 paperback illustrations in both oils and acrylics for a number of different publishers. 

How much are Bruce Minney paintings worth?

Minney pieces usually range from a few hundred to a few thousand per painting, and as such represents a good opportunity for the savvy investor. His work is full of humor, strange violence, and sexuality which may turn away some investors, but there’s a timeless quality to his work that bodes well for its valuation in the future. His highest-selling piece is Voluptuous Voyage, paperback cover, 1962 (1962) which sold for Heritage Auctions in 2009 for a price of $3,884.

Where to buy Bruce Minney’s paintings for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Bruce Minney paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.

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Bruce Minney Original Art values sold at auction

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