02 December 2021

Buying works by famous artists, sponsoring young and promising artists, art shows sponsorships, or collecting art are just glimpses of how businesses collaborate with art. Some banks can become art galleries in their own right. Olga Melnyk, curator, and visual culture researcher held a master class on business and art collaboration for MIM-Kyiv’s community. She talked about:

Many premium brands link their companies’ histories with art, establish art foundations, and donate to the building of art galleries and art storage facilities. Louis-Vuitton’s Fondation founded in 2006, is arguably the best-known. Bernard Arnault, the CEO of the LVMH Group and highly reputable art collector was a driving force behind the establishment of the Fondation. Driven by its mission to serve the public, the Fondation is committed to making art and culture accessible to all. Since the inauguration of its building by Frank Gehry in 2014, the Fondation enjoys enormous popularity. Its location in Bois de Boulogne speaks to art lovers of many generations.

Other luxury brands invest heavily in art. Prada founded its own Fondazione Prada and in 2015 opened its building. Prada believes that “culture is deeply useful and necessary as well as attractive and engaging.” They do their best to make it accessible by keeping their entrance fee at 5 Euros against the average European 8 Euro. 

Cartier founded its Foundation for Contemporary Art in 1984. In 1994 they moved to their new home by Jean Nouvel, one of the most celebrated French architects.

Max Mara buys works by young artists, often the students. It works for both sides – young talents meet patrons whereas the brand gets access to Z Generation. 

Hermès’s boutiques are true galleries of contemporary art. 

Modern banks fill the big shoes of the Medici family, the great bankers, rulers, and art patrons of the past. They have vast art collections and even shape the urban environment. The reasons for going into art are the following:

Many banks are patrons of art. They own galleries and award their prizes to artists.  

IT companies support art as well. Microsoft uses art to promote creativity among its employees. The company boasts an art collection of 5000 artworks exhibited in their 180 offices.