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Banks and Art Purchases
In the age of social responsibility, the banks have a considerable significance in the world of art. What can be seen as surprising is that more and more often are banks purchasing artwork, not as an assets investment, but as investment in people. It isn’t only about the securing of masterpieces in high security vaults anymore. The vaults have been unlocked.
The meaning of Art in the Workplace
Whilst it remains true that some corporate collections serve merely as furnishings for executive offices, art is more frequently being incorporated into shared spaces – relaxation zones – to encourage employees to take time out. Away from the quantitative world of databases and figures, internal exhibitions bring about a wave of diametrically opposed serenity. Bankers are used to seeing figures on the screen. Now they can admire them in real life. Statues and sculptures are filling office lobbies. Having art in storage is no longer accepted. Employees expect their companies to adhere to a level of social responsibility. And the banks are stepping up.
Supporting the Art Sector
Local artists are being supported by a growing number of banks and insurance funds for a variety of reasons, starting from purely philanthropic to the goal of enhancing the company’s PR. To give a few examples: Deutsche Bank began collecting Art with the goal of supporting rising German artists; Alpha Bank, who invest in contemporary Greek art; funding for museums and national galleries is provided by Credit Suisse… and we could continue the list!
Corporate art, once a true juxtaposition, is being reconciled. Bank curators, we thank you for this. You have looked beyond the art of investing, and into investment in art.