International audience Connections between economics and art encompass far more than simply the art market. By looking beyond auction prices, artists’ career trajectories, and marketing strategies, scholars can better engage with the economic significance of art objects in a range of social and discursive fields. This essay proposes that works of art are often the best material evidence of broader economic debates and conditions beyond the market economy, even beyond capitalism. Our claims are twofold. Although financial transactions are often considered abstract, we suggest that the economic sphere is populated with material objects that merit art-historical attention. Artworks, meanwhile, reveal the forces of a global market beyond the limits of the art world. They do not simply thematize or represent economic issues; they are also agents partaking in the economic debates of their time.