BANK­ING ON ART

MillionaireAsia India - - Feature -

The rst no­table oc­cur­rence of banks col­lect­ing art was ob­served in Italy dur­ing the 1300’s when a banker com­mis­sioned a chapel con­tain­ing re­li­gious art­works to atone for the sins of the fam­ily that had gained their wealth as bankers, at a time when money-lend­ing with in­ter­est was re­garded as sin­ful by Chris­tians.

By the 15th cen­tury, the con­cept of pa­tron­age had evolved from aton­ing for one’s sins to el­e­vat­ing one’s sta­tus. To il­lus­trate, art­works funded by gains from the pros­per­ous Medici Bank be­came a means to help the Medici fam­ily gain pub­lic promi­nence, power and even­tu­ally no­ble sta­tus.

The cor­po­ra­tion with the largest art col­lec­tion hap­pens to be Deutsche Bank, Ger­many. Started over three decades ago, the art col­lec­tion of 56,000 works by around 5,000 artists, con­cen­trates on the medium of pa­per. Al­most 90 per cent of art works in the col­lec­tion are on view in over 900 Deutsche Bank lo­ca­tions world­wide, in ex­hi­bi­tions or on loan to 28 mu­se­ums. Amongst the old­est, the JPMor­gan Chase Art Col­lec­tion be­gan in 1959 when David Rock­e­feller, the then pres­i­dent of The Chase Man­hat­tan Bank, es­tab­lished the rm’s art pro­gramme. He in­te­grated art­work with the ar­chi­tec­ture of build­ings.

The UBS, Switzer­land too has a rich his­tory of ac­tively col­lect­ing art and sup­port­ing artis­tic en­deav­ours. The bank’s im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of over 35,000 ob­jects in­cludes thou­sands of con­tem­po­rary works as well as some of the most im­por­tant artists of the last 50 years. Its art pro­gramme in­cludes a global part­ner­ship with the Solomon R Guggen­heim Foun­da­tion as well as com­mit­ments to the in­ter­na­tional art fairs such as Art Basel, Art Basel Mi­ami Beach and Art Basel Hong Kong. Mu­seum loan pro­grammes, ex­hi­bi­tions, ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram­ming, phil­an­thropic and spon­sor­ship ac­tiv­i­ties; banks are lit­er­ally leav­ing no stone un­turned in giv­ing art its due.

David Rock­e­feller in­cor­po­rated a unique ap­proach to ac­qui­si­tions, which be­came a model for other com­pa­nies world­wide

A col­lec­tion of art­works at Deutsche Bank

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