Read this article exploring the top 40 corporate art collections in the world, plus what makes a corporate collection and the history behind them.
Corporate art collections have become a captivating phenomenon in the realm of art and business. From enhancing brand image to fostering employee engagement and showcasing cultural heritage, these collections hold a unique position in the corporate world.
As we delve into the world's largest and most captivating corporate art collections, we will unravel the significance of art as an asset, its impact on corporate identities, and the evolving landscape of patronage in the 21st century.
Have a collection already and want to learn how to manage it? Learn how to manage your Contemporary Art Collection with our Essential 2023 Guide.
Types of Corporate Art Collections
What is a Corporate Art Collection?
Corporate art collections have evolved over time, transitioning from investment-focused endeavours to tools for enhancing employee satisfaction and community engagement. These collections consist of artworks acquired by businesses, ranging from renowned artists to emerging talents.
Unlike personal collections, corporate art is owned by the company itself and can be distributed across multiple offices or kept in a specific location or storage. It reflects the company's values and can also provide insight into its history and the evolving art movements of the time.
Curators with art history backgrounds typically curate and manage these collections, which are acquired by organisations such as banks, companies, and government bodies.
A Brief History on Corporate Art Collections
The first corporate art collection is said to be by Monte dei Paschi bank in Siena originating from 1472. Counting more than 30,000 oeuvres, it was created to give lustre and reputation to the Institute for its secular activities.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the focus of corporate art collections shifted as companies began using art as part of their public relations strategies. To maintain a consistent identity and focus for the collections, art experts were hired to handle acquisitions, ensuring continuity even with changing CEOs.
In recent decades, corporate art collections have taken on another purpose: fostering a positive office culture that motivates and uplifts employees. Companies now invest in art that resonates with their workforce rather than solely aiming to impress clients. Corporate art collections also play a role in supporting artists' careers through commissions and artists-in-residence programs.
Major corporations, following the example set by Chase Manhattan Bank's David Rockefeller in the 1950s, now commonly possess their own collections that reflect their history, brand, or values.
3. Why do Corporations need Art Collections?
Corporate art collections serve various purposes beyond mere investment. While personal taste may have initiated some collections, today art advisors are hired to manage them with specific goals in mind.
1. To contribute to the legitimacy and communication of a company, as well as its specific business strategy.
2. To promote creativity
3. To improve employee morale
4. To enhance the company's public image
5. To support emerging artists.
6. To yield long-term financial returns.
Ultimately, corporate art collections are a powerful tool for business communication and expressing the company's values to stakeholders, employees, and the wider society.
Katz Frey, Microsoft Art Collection via michaelkleinarts.com
Artists Included: Chuck Close, Takashi Murakami, Julian Opie, Cindy Sherman
Originating in 1987 with the intention of enhancing the work environment through art, the Microsoft Art Collection has grown to encompass over 5000 artworks exhibited across 180 buildings worldwide. Reserved exclusively for the delight of employees, guests, and customers, the collection emphasises contemporary art and features a diverse range of mediums such as paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, ceramics, fibre art, metalwork, mixed media, and archival materials.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Location: South Korea
Artists Included: Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol
It appears that the extensive art collection amassed by the late Samsung chairman, Lee Kun-hee, will remain in South Korea, bringing joy to cultural leaders in the country. The collection, valued at up to $2.7 billion, includes 30 pieces declared National Treasures. Over 20,000 traditional Korean artworks will be donated to the National Museum of Korea, while the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will receive over 1,200 modern and contemporary pieces, including works by European masters. The donation is hailed as "the donation of the century" by museum officials.
Romare Bearden, Three Folk Musicians, Courtesy of Steven Zucker
Artists Included: Romare Bearden, Willie Cole, Evelyn Beatrice Longman and James Rosenquist
The AT&T Corporate Art Collection houses over 8,000 contemporary artworks and reflects AT&T's commitment to communication and cultural engagement. The collection showcases diverse styles and cultures, encompassing significant works from around the world. The collection includes various media, with a focus on new media and contemporary photography. The collection emphasises diversity and represents artists with different creative visions.
Photography by Garrett Rowland
Artists Included: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock and Frank Stella
The Ford family has built a significant art collection led by William Clay Ford Sr. and Martha Firestone Ford. Picasso's Seated Woman and Pollock's Number 16 are notable pieces, showcasing the artists' distinct styles. While the collection's exact value is undisclosed, it is worth millions of dollars and has been featured in exhibitions, including one at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2013.
Cropped version of artwork Rot, Gelb & Blau by Gerhard Richter
Artists Included: Gerhard Richter, Alexander Calder
BMW's cultural engagement has always prioritised its employees, with initiatives such as establishing a gallery for employee art and collaborating with local cultural institutions. The BMW Group initiated its cultural involvement by commissioning renowned artist Gerhard Richter to create three large-scale paintings for its Munich headquarters in 1971. The artworks, titled Rot, Gelb, and Blau, have been prominently displayed in the entrance hall of the iconic Four-Cylinder building since its opening in 1973.
In 1975, French racing driver Hervé Poulain and BMW Motorsport director Jochen Neerpasch collaborated with artist Alexander Calder to create the first BMW Art Car, leading to subsequent collaborations with artists worldwide to create unique "rolling sculptures" that blend motorsports, design, art, and technology.
Courtesy of UBS Art Collection
Artists Included: Derrick Adams, Etel Adnan, and Ghada Amer
The UBS Art Collection is renowned as a leading corporate collection, encompassing contemporary art from 1960 onwards. With over 30,000 works, it includes diverse mediums and represents cultures worldwide. UBS's mission is to foster a thought-provoking and inspiring collection that reflects society. UBS's commitment extends to supporting artistic communities, collaborating with institutions, and sharing the collection through the UBS Art Gallery in New York.
Courtesy of Sothebys
7. British Airways
Artists Included: Bridget Riley, Patrick Heron, and David Nash
The British Airways art collection is a prominent Corporate Art Collection in England, aimed at promoting contemporary art, especially British art, on a global scale. Collaborating with Artwise, London curators, British Airways acquired over 1,500 works over a 17-year period. The collection, valued in millions of pounds, was established in the early 1990s to rebrand the airline with a contemporary and British image, enhancing brand awareness. Displayed at the Waterside headquarters and executive lounges, the collection focuses on British artists, supporting emerging talent and fostering their market value.
Courtesy of Mercedes Benz Art
8. Daimler Art Collection (previously the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection)
With a 45-year legacy, the Daimler Art Collection has garnered a stellar reputation, reflecting the group's dedication to the arts as a key component of its social identity, cultural standing, and sustainability mindset. Notably, its global tour from 2003 to 2018 showcased the collection in 15 prominent international museums, earning it recognition as one of the top 100 corporate collections worldwide.
The Group headquarters in Untertürkheim hosts an ever-evolving exhibition spanning twelve floors, showcasing 200 artworks. Additionally, the collection encompasses approximately 3,000 pieces by 800 international artists, focusing on abstract avant-garde, classical modernism, and extending to photography, media art, and automobile-related art. Notably, the collection boasts an impressive assortment of large sculptures, positioning it as one of Germany's foremost corporate sculpture collections.
Courtesy of Jo-Ann Brody
Artists Included: Jo-Ann Brody
Corporate art collections are generally intended to create a positive and stimulating work environment, but sometimes, certain artworks can stir controversy. Pfizer Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in New York, strives to avoid controversy and respect employees' sensitivities in its art choices, according to in-house curator Ingrid Fox.
The pharmaceutical giant's recent collection of 100 diverse pieces by regional artists are located at its new learning centre in Rye Brook. Katherine Gass, an independent consultant who helped organise the collection, said that even if a piece is not an immediate hit, "as soon as you humanise it, they get it." However, a cement sculpture by Jo-Ann Brody depicting a nude woman with a small head and exaggerated hips was removed and replaced with another Brody sculpture, Hands Up, after some female employees felt it was demeaning.
Courtesy of Design Week
10. Coca Cola
Artists Included: Auguste Rodin, Andy Warhol, Stuart Haygarth
In Boston, The Coca-Cola Company has a fine art collection of over 2,000 artworks, featuring artists from Auguste Rodin to Andy Warhol. Started in 1986 to commemorate the company's centennial anniversary, the collection represents diverse movements, styles, and mediums. Its purpose is to celebrate human inventiveness and inspire creativity in the workplace for guests and associates.
It also has a new London headquarters on Wimpole Street. Spanning 66,000 square feet over four-storeys and accommodating around 300 employees, the refurbished 1920s building showcases the company's heritage with a central staircase adorned with iconic Coca-Cola memorabilia. A specially commissioned artwork by Stuart Haygarth, a four-meter-high comet-shaped piece, hangs in the reception.
Courtesy of Fondation Louis Vuitton
Artists Included: Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst
While renowned for his business acumen and the success of LVMH, Bernard Arnault is also a prominent art collector. He established the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris in 2014, showcasing his permanent collection and hosting temporary exhibitions. Arnault's personal art collection includes works by iconic artists like Picasso, Warhol, and Hirst. In 2019, he donated significant pieces to the Louvre. Surprisingly, Arnault has recently revealed a private collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), despite previously expressing scepticism about their value.
Courtesy of Richard Rush
12. Government Art Collection, UK
Location: United Kingdom
The Government Art Collection, comprising over 14,700 artworks, holds the distinction of being displayed in more than 125 countries, making it the most widely dispersed collection of British art worldwide. With its presence in UK government buildings across various capital cities, the collection serves as a significant promoter of British art and plays a crucial role in British cultural diplomacy.
Spanning nearly 125 years, the collection showcases artworks from the 16th century to the present, offering a representation of British art, history, and culture on a global scale. Curated by dedicated staff, the collection receives support from the UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as well as through partnerships and philanthropic contributions.
Courtesy via LuciaWardBlog
13. Saatchi & Saatchi London
Location: United Kingdom
Artists Included: Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer, Donald Judd, Tracey Emin
In 1970, Charles Saatchi and his brother Maurice founded the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency, which brought them great success. During this time, Charles purchased a vast warehouse in London and transformed it into a gallery to showcase his extensive private collection, featuring works by prominent artists like Andy Warhol, Anselm Kiefer, and Donald Judd.
Saatchi broke convention by investing in promising young artists, influencing the careers of many British artists. He played a pivotal role in the Young British Artist movement of the 1990s, particularly with the acquisition of works by Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin. Saatchi's patronage could make or break an artist's career. In 2010, he generously donated his gallery and several prized artworks, including Tracey Emin's My Bed to the British public.
LEGAL & INSURANCE
Courtesy via Progressive
Artists Included: Andy Warhol, Kerry James Marshall, Doris Salcedo, and Cindy Sherman.
In 1974, Peter Lewis envisioned a unique and modern corporate headquarters for Progressive, showcasing original contemporary art that reflects the company's creative culture. The collection has since grown to over 10,000 artworks, including sculptures, paintings, photography, and new media from more than 2,000 artists across 70 countries.
The collection is displayed throughout Progressive offices nationwide, encouraging dialogue and debate among employees. Each year, around 200 artworks are acquired, prioritising diverse artists that resonate with Progressive's people and provoke thought.
Courtesy via MAC, Sébastien Roy
15. Fasken Martineau
Fasken Martineau is an international business law firm based in Montréal, Canada, with offices worldwide. Established in 1978, their art collection focuses on contemporary Canadian art, particularly Québec artists. Strong in works from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as those created since 1985, the collection boasts over 450 artworks, with around 300 by Québec artists. The artworks are showcased across all seven floors of the Montréal office, including hallways, conference rooms, reception areas, and more. Recognised for over 30 years, the collection is a testament to the firm's appreciation for art and Québec's artistic talent.
Courtesy via Art Basel
16. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Artists Included: Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Berenice Abbott, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, a law firm originally founded in New York City in the early 20th century, has now grown into an international firm. Established in 1981, their art collection emphasises works created after 1945, encompassing Conceptual art, Pop, Minimalism, and related movements. The collection features a diverse range of media, including graphics, sculpture, works on paper, mixed media, painting, and photography, with a special focus on print series and portfolios.
The Washington office particularly emphasises sculpture, sculptural objects, sculptors' drawings, and prints by artists associated with the environment.
Courtesy via National Portrait Gallery Australia
17. Gaden’s Lawyers
Gadens, a leading Australian legal services provider based in Brisbane, has a widespread presence with 134 partners and over 1,000 staff across Australia and Papua New Guinea. The firm has a rich tradition of supporting both emerging and established artists, going beyond conventional corporate backing to integrate the arts into various aspects of their operations. This includes hosting artists in residence and incorporating artistic elements into their offices. For instance, their Adelaide and Sydney offices have collaborated with emerging artists, showcasing a diverse range of artworks such as paintings, glass, ceramics, furniture, and pieces by talented Indigenous artists.
Courtesy Rottet Studio Architecture & Design
18. King & Spalding LLP
Artists Included: Lamar Dodd, Benny Andrews, Joel Reeves, Carolyn Carr, Heather Weese
Established in 1885, King & Spalding has evolved into a Global 50 law firm with over 800 lawyers across offices worldwide. As Atlanta's oldest and largest law firm, King & Spalding has been curating an art collection for around 30 years. Consisting of approximately 800 contemporary works by Georgia artists, the collection features renowned names such as Lamar Dodd, Benny Andrews, Joel Reeves, Carolyn Carr, and many more. Displaying various media including graphics, painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, decorative arts, and folk art, the collection offers a diverse artistic experience. Notably, visitors are greeted by a striking Heather Weese biomorphic abstract painting upon exiting the elevators on the 37th floor.
Courtesy via Artsy
19. Allens Arthur Robinson
Artists Included: David Aspden, Angela Brennan, Rosalie Gascoigne, Helen Eager, and Richard Larter.
Formerly known as Allen Allen & Hemsley, this commercial law firm has offices across the Asia-Pacific region and is regarded as one of the best in Australia. In addition to its legal services, the firm has a collection of contemporary Australian art, featuring works by artists such as David Aspden, Angela Brennan, Rosalie Gascoigne, Helen Eager, and Richard Larter, among others. The collection, which began in the late 1970s, aims to support young and emerging Australian artists and now comprises over 1200 paintings, works on paper, and some 3D works. The collection serves as an expression of the firm's belief in fostering Australian cultural expression and creating vibrant work environments.
Courtesy via Italinteriors Contract
20. Torys LLP
Artists Included: Edward Burtynsky, Rodney Graham, and Yves Gaucher.
Based in Toronto, Canada, this internationally renowned business law firm also operates offices in New York and Calgary. The firm has a rich history of art collection, dating back to the 1970s and expanding significantly in the mid-1990s under the guidance of art consultant Fela Grunwald. The collection comprises around 400 works, showcasing Canadian graphics, paintings, sculpture, photography, works on paper, and mixed media, with a focus on contemporary art. Notable artists in the collection include Edward Burtynsky, Rodney Graham, and Yves Gaucher.
Courtesy of Atlanta Jewish Times
21. Arnall, Golden & Gregory
Artists Included: John Callahan, Barnett Newman, André Kertész, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Yousuf Karsh, Edward Weston, Ruth Orkin, Ansel Adams, Paul Strand
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the art collection of Arnall, Golden & Gregory encompasses two distinct categories. The first group comprises 20th-century photography featuring notable artists such as Callahan, Newman, Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson, Karsh, Edward Weston, Orkin, Ansel Adams, Strand, and more. The second group consists of contemporary prints, including works by Stella, Johns, Hockney, Motherwell, Lichtenstein, and others.
Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art
22. Arnold & Porter
Artists Included: William Christenberry, Gene Davis, Willem De Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Kainen, and Morris Louis.
Arnold & Porter LLP, based in Washington, D.C., is an international law firm renowned for its expertise in trial, corporate, and antitrust matters. The firm is also committed to pro bono work and progressive causes. Their art collection, established before 1980, comprises notable works by acclaimed artists such as William Christenberry, Gene Davis, Willem De Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Kainen, and Morris Louis. It includes sculptures by Beverly Pepper, Peter Reginato, and Ann Truitt, as well as a 5th-century B.C. Greek vase.
The collection also features over 100 original graphics and works on paper. Artworks are displayed at the firm's Washington, D.C. headquarters, as well as its branch offices in Denver, Los Angeles, and New York.
Courtesy of Clifford Chance
23. Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance LLP, a global law firm headquartered in London, is among the world's largest in terms of lawyers and revenue. Established in 1992, their art collection comprises over 800 works, with a focus on British 20th-century prints. The collection emphasises limited edition autographic prints by highly talented British artists.
It is organised around three themes: Images of London, Abstract Art from St. Ives and Corsham, and Post-1945 Figurative Prints. The works are displayed thematically in client meeting rooms at 200 Aldersgate Street. The firm sponsors the Clifford Chance Student Printmaker Purchase Prize and maintains the Clifford Chance Arts Club, offering staff engagement and showcasing exhibitions by artists linked to the collection. Commissioned artworks also adorn specific sites within the building.
Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery
24. McCarthy Tétrault
Artists Included: Ed Burtynsky, Greg Girard, Roy Arden, Ron Terada, Kim Adams, Ken Lum.
McCarthy Tétrault, a Canadian law firm, offers comprehensive legal services in business law, litigation, tax law, real property law, labour and employment law across Canada and internationally. Established in 1968, their art collection comprises approximately 450 artworks, focusing on contemporary Canadian art created after 1960. Recognised as one of Canada's leading corporate collections of museum-quality contemporary art, the McCarthy Tétrault collection features works by renowned artists such as Ed Burtynsky, Greg Girard, Roy Arden, Ron Terada, Kim Adams, Ken Lum, and more.
Courtesy of Nuno Cera
PLMJ, a law firm based in Lisbon, Portugal, was established in the late 1960s by António Maria Pereira and Luis Sáragga Leal. The PLMJ Foundation, founded in 2001, operates under the motto "a law firm as a space for culture" and houses a collection of Portuguese contemporary art. The collection encompasses various mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, video art, and drawing, showcasing established and emerging artists.
With a total of 1,254 works, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video art, the collection represents renowned Portuguese contemporary artists as well as artists from Portuguese-speaking countries. The collection aims to promote contemporary art and has become one of Portugal's significant cultural institutions, featuring an active annual publishing program and numerous editorial art projects.
Courtesy of Simmons & Simmons
26. Simmons & Simmons
Artists Included: Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin
Founded in 1896, Simmons & Simmons is an international law firm with 1,500 employees and offices in key business and financial centres across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Since 1985, Simmons & Simmons has been building a collection of over 400 artworks by modern British and international artists. The collection focuses on supporting emerging artists and encompasses various mediums, including photography. The London office showcases works by renowned artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, reflecting the dynamic and innovative nature of contemporary British art.
Courtesy of Art News @ Art in America
27. KNPZ Attorneys
Artists Included: Sophie Calle, Imi Knoebel, Elle Krystofek, and Fred Sandback.
Specialising in intellectual property law, with a focus on information technology, media, and technology transfers, this Hamburg-based law firm has been curating a captivating art collection since 1990. With approximately 250 works by 70 artists, the collection showcases a blend of German, European, and American art. The collection features a juxtaposition of emerging young artists alongside established international figures.
The collection's theme revolves around the intersection of narrative art and abstract conceptual art, highlighting the creative dialogue between these genres. Noteworthy emerging artists in the collection include Jon Beech, a New York-based object and conceptual artist, Nezaket Ekici, a German/Turkish performance artist, and Peter Welz, a video artist based in Berlin.
Courtesy of © Spencer Finch 2018
28. Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection
The Fidelity Art Collection is a dynamic and evolving collection that responds to current issues and future goals. It seeks experimental, intellectually curious, and technically precise artwork across various media. With a global portfolio of contemporary artworks, it includes emerging, mid-career, and established artists. Headquartered in Boston, the collection is spread across over 245 locations, including investor centres and regional campuses. The curators acquire works through art fairs, studio visits, and word of mouth, adding approximately 500 new acquisitions each year.
Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine
29. Statoil Art Collection
Industry: Oil & Gas
Artists Included: Bjørn-Sigurd Tufta, Frans Widerberg, Per Kleiva, Vegard Moen, Torbjørn Rødland, Terje Finnsen, and Vibeke Slyngstad.
Statoil, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Norway, boasts an extensive art collection comprising over 700 works displayed in their offices and installations worldwide.
Courtesy of The Times
30. Deutsche Bank
Artists Included: Keith Tyson, Susan Derges, Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg.
The Deutsche Bank Collection, established in 1979, is now recognised as one of the world's most significant collections of drawings and photographs created after 1945. Art is an integral part of the bank's offices in major financial centres, and the Deutsche Bank Campus, located near the Towers, serves as another platform for the corporate collection, featuring over 700 works on paper and photographs by diverse artists.
The collection reflects global discourses, addressing topics such as migration, gender roles, nature conservation, and urban life. For example, the reception area of the London headquarters features large artworks by Keith Tyson and Susan Derges as well as major sculptures by Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg. However, the vast majority of the art in the Deutsche Bank Collection is on a modest scale, focusing on works on paper.
Courtesy of Ben Long Fine Art
31. Bank of America
Artists Included: Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, Joan Mitchell, Thomas Struth, and William Eggleston.
The Bank of America Collection is renowned as one of the world's largest and most impressive art collections, with a focus on contemporary art that showcases the diversity of artistic expression both in America and internationally. The collection, consisting of approximately 60,000 objects, is displayed in public galleries owned by the bank, as well as in their corporate offices. It prominently features post-World War II American art.
Courtesy of IACCA
32. Banco de España
Artists Included: Francisco de Goya, Mariano Salvador Maella, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Mompó, Miguel Ángel Campano, Eduardo Chillida and Adolfo Schlosser.
The Banco de España, headquartered in Madrid, possesses an extensive art collection inherited from its predecessor banks or acquired later on. Spanning from the 15th century to the present day, the collection includes precious and historically significant paintings. Notable artworks from the 19th century include portraits commissioned by the Banco de San Carlos, executed by renowned artists like Francisco de Goya and Mariano Salvador Maella. The collection also features landscape paintings by Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Mompó, and Miguel Ángel Campano, as well as modern works by Picasso, Tàpies, and Pancho Cossío.
Additionally, the Banco de España has embraced new artistic disciplines such as sculpture and photography, incorporating notable pieces by Eduardo Chillida and Adolfo Schlosser.
Courtesy of Europa Press
33. Caixa Foundation
Artists Included: Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Antoni Tàpies, Jannis Kounellis
Since its establishment in 1985, the "la Caixa" Collection of Contemporary Art has expanded to encompass over a thousand artworks. Initially focused on the impactful and significant works of the 1980s, the collection gradually incorporated pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, particularly those by renowned artists who remain active today. The aim was to build a comprehensive framework by connecting related artworks and inspiring young artists. From the beginning, the collection embraced an international perspective, featuring prominent artists such as Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Antoni Tàpies, Jannis Kounellis, and many others.
Courtesy of Masterpiece London Art Fair
34. Royal Bank of Canada
The RBC Corporate Art Collection is distributed across executive offices, conference floors, and client-facing areas in Canada, New York, and London. It primarily focuses on showcasing contemporary Canadian artists and includes various mediums such as works on paper, paintings, videos, and sculptures. Established in 1929, the collection has grown to encompass around 4,500 artworks and holds an international status.
The collection places emphasis on acquiring works by emerging artists while also considering the intergenerational conversations that can be fostered. RBC's commitment to building this collection stems from their recognition of the vital role artists play in communities, promoting dialogue, and supporting vibrant spaces where people live and work.
Courtesy of Christies
35. UniCredit Group
Artists Included: Dosso Dossi, Ludovico Carracci
UniCredit's Art Collection is among the top corporate art collections in Europe, representing the bank's European identity and houses around 60,000 works primarily focusing on modern and contemporary art. It demonstrates UniCredit's commitment to preserving cultural heritage and promoting the universal language of fine arts across various countries including Austria, Italy, Germany, Poland, Turkey, and Russia. Palazzo Magnani, the headquarters of UniCredit Banca, houses a vast art collection spanning from the 1500s to the present day. Continuously expanding, the collection features notable works such as Dosso Dossi's The Venere's Awakening and Ludovico Carracci’s Saint Vincenzo Martyr adorating the Virgin with Child.
Courtesy of Vienna Pass
36. Bank of Austria
The Bank Austria collection, consisting of around 10,000 artworks, stands as a prominent collection of Austrian art. While it encompasses pieces from Art Nouveau and Viennese Expressionism, its main emphasis lies in avant-garde and contemporary art from the post-1945 period. The collection includes a significant selection of 400 photographs, spanning from the early pioneers of photography to contemporary practitioners. These photographs are on a long-term loan to the Salzburg Modern Art Museum, further contributing to the cultural landscape. The Bank Austria collection holds great significance in showcasing the evolution of Austrian art across different artistic movements and time periods
Courtesy of Société Générale
37. Société Générale
Artists Included: Richard Long, Sarah Pickstone, Clare Price, and Emily Allchurch.
For over 25 years, Société Générale has been a staunch supporter of contemporary artistic creation, amassing a collection consisting of photographs, paintings, sculptures, lithographs, and more. This collection is displayed at Société Générale’s premises, with a particular emphasis on sharing it with young people. With over 1,200 works from emerging and renowned artists worldwide, the collection represents Société Générale’s commitment to artists of all generations.
The collection includes notable works by artists such as Richard Long, Sarah Pickstone, Clare Price, Emily Allchurch, and more. The centrepiece of the collection is the 4.5-meter bronze sculpture, The Stranger by Fabio Dartizio, commissioned through a panel selection process involving art specialists and universities. The collection is open to visitors, staff, and clients of the bank, affirming Société Générale’s dedication to fostering artistic engagement.
Courtesy of Gazprombank
38. Gazprombank Art Collection
Artists Included: Andrei Monastyrsky, Vadim Zakharov and Yuri Albert.
The Gazprombank collection is a pioneering corporate art collection that exclusively showcases contemporary Russian art from the 1990s to the present. The collection documents the transformative era of the early 1990s when profound social and economic changes fuelled avant-garde movements in Russian art. It features works by influential figures like Andrei Monastyrsky, Vadim Zakharov, Yuri Albert, and the Moscow Conceptualism movement. It encompasses a diverse range of mediums, genres, and techniques, including painting, photography, sculpture, installations, and video art.
Courtesy of Artsy
39. Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection
Location: South Africa
Artists Included: Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, JH Pierneef, Durant Sihlali, Alexis Preller, Irma Stern, and Gladys Mgudlandlu.
The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection is one of South Africa's notable corporate collections, housing over 1,200 artworks predominantly by local artists. Displayed in public and executive offices of Standard Bank buildings and other facilities across Africa, the collection spans a wide timeframe. It includes early works by South African modernist masters like Gerard Sekoto, George Pemba, JH Pierneef, Durant Sihlali, Alexis Preller, Irma Stern, and Gladys Mgudlandlu, as well as contemporary pieces by artists such as William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa, Diane Victor, Pat Mautloa, and Penny Siopis.
Courtesy of Rochelle Eagle
Artists Included: Anna-Wili Highfield, Gerwyn Davis and Ryan Foote.
Deloitte's new art collection, curated by Art Pharmacy, features the work of over 35 Australian artists and is the largest corporate collection assembled in Australia this year. The collection, located in Deloitte's new offices in the Olderfleet building, Melbourne, showcases a diverse range of media, including paintings, sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, and murals. The focus is on fresh emerging talent, humour, and subversion, expressing the "surprise and delight" of stumbling upon the unexpected.
The collection was developed to capture the innovative perspectives and inherent curiosity that is central to Deloitte's vision. Art Pharmacy guided the cross-disciplinary Deloitte team through the artist selection and concept approval process.
Courtesy of Kate Elliott
Corporate Art Collections in the Present: Are They Still Important and Relevant?
Beyond the flashy numbers which boast a corporate art collection's monetary value and size, journalist Melanie Gerlis from Apollo Magazine has however challenged the relevancy of corporate art collections in the recent decade.
In their view, corporate art collections are facing increased scrutiny and questioning of their relevance. Using art acquisitions to cover up misdeeds or spending lavishly while laying off staff is no longer viewed favourably by the public. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the physical spaces where corporate art is displayed, as remote work and virtual meetings have become the norm.
While some remain optimistic about alternative patronage models, the social and economic benefits historically associated with corporate art collections seem to have diminished. Not to forget, it is anticipated that more sales and changes will occur in this ever changing era of the 21st century.
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