The Most Impressive Corporate Art Collections In The World

EA
reviewed by Erin Argun,
Date of publication12 May 2023
Last updated20 Oct 2023
A circular canvas artwork titled "H9-5 Honesty" by Damien Hirst. The artwork features a vibrant colour palette and intricate patterns.H9-5 Honesty © Damien Hirst 2021
Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

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Corporate art collections have been around for centuries, with many of the world's largest corporations owning vast and impressive collections of artwork. From banks to tech companies, corporations invest in art for various reasons, such as to enhance their brand image, aesthetically enrich their spaces, and diversify their financial investments.

Corporate art collections have the potential to create a sense of pride and identity, as well as offer a glimpse into the company's history and values. These collections can be an integral part of the corporate culture, demonstrating a commitment to creativity, innovation, and excellence.

Moreover, a company's art collection can add significant value to its overall portfolio and become a valuable asset over time. It is not uncommon for corporate art collections to be worth millions of dollars, with some of the largest and most impressive collections being owned by financial institutions such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, and tech companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Here are the Top 10 Most Impressive Corporate Art Collections In The World:

An outdoor steel sculpture titled "For Chris" created by Mark di Suvero in 1991. The sculpture features several large, curved steel beams painted in a bright shade of red that intersect and crisscross each other to create a dynamic structure.Image © Artsy / For Chris © Mark di Suvero, 1991
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1.

Microsoft

Microsoft has a remarkable art collection that includes over 5,000 works of art, ranging from paintings and sculptures to digital installations and mixed media. The collection began in 1987, and includes notable works of Contemporary Art by the likes of Takashi Murakami and Cindy Sherman. The company's art collection is housed in their offices worldwide, and employees have access to it as part of their working environment.

An abstract cubist painting titled "Seated Woman" by Pablo Picasso, featuring a fragmented female figure seated with crossed arms, wearing a hat and striped dress, against a beige background.Image © Museum Of Modern Art / Seated Woman © Pablo Picasso, 1927
2.

Ford

The Ford family has amassed a significant art collection over the years, primarily through the collecting efforts of the late William Clay Ford Sr. and his wife, Martha Firestone Ford. The collection spans a wide range of genres, mediums, and eras, from contemporary art to classical antiquities.

The Ford art collection includes works by notable artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, and Frank Stella, as well as pieces from emerging artists. One standout piece in the collection is Picasso's Seated Woman, a vibrant portrait of a woman that exemplifies the artist's distinctive style and skill. Another notable work is Pollock's Number 16, a large-scale abstract painting that showcases the artist's signature drip technique.

While the exact value of the Ford art collection is not publicly known, it is undoubtedly worth millions of dollars. The collection has been featured in several exhibitions over the years, including a 2013 show at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

A colourful abstract painting titled "Harran II" featuring overlapping geometric shapes in shades of red, orange, and yellow set against a white background.Image © The Guggenheim Museums / Harran II © Frank Stella, 1967
3.

Pfizer

Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company that is known for its innovative medicines, but it also has a remarkable art collection. The collection includes over 1,500 works of art that are displayed across the company's offices and facilities worldwide. The collection includes contemporary and modern art, with works from artists such as Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg.

One standout piece in the Pfizer collection is Frank Stella's Harran II (1967), a monumental and colourful abstract painting that dominates the lobby of the company's headquarters in New York. Another notable work is Torsion (1963) by Robert Rauschenberg, a mixed media work that incorporates everyday objects such as a chair and a bicycle wheel.

While it's unclear exactly how much the Pfizer art collection is worth, it's undoubtedly a valuable and significant collection that reflects the company's commitment to creativity and innovation beyond its core business. By investing in art, Pfizer is not only supporting the arts and artists, but also enhancing its corporate culture and identity.

A mixed media artwork titled "Notes to Basquiat (in the future art will not be boring)" featuring handwritten notes and images layered over a background of abstract expressionist brushstrokes in shades of blue, red, and yellow.Image © Art Gallery NSW / Notes to Basquiat (in the future art will not be boring) © Gordon Bennet, 1955
4.

Deloitte

Deloitte, one of the world's largest professional services firms, is also home to an impressive art collection that spans several centuries. The collection, which was founded in 1972, includes over 15,000 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and installations. Some of the notable artists in the collection include Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso, among others.

The collection is not only significant in terms of its artistic value but also its cultural and historical significance. For instance, Deloitte's art collection includes works by indigenous artists, such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gordon Bennett, that reflect the rich cultural heritage of Australia. It also features contemporary works that reflect social and political issues, such as Lorraine Connelly-Northey's Wire Man, a sculpture made from recycled wire that explores issues of identity and sustainability.

As Deloitte's global managing director, David Cruickshank, has said, “Art can provide a powerful way of bringing our values to life, inspiring our people, and creating a great work environment.”

A painting titled "Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell depicting a family gathered around a Thanksgiving table, with a large turkey and other traditional dishes.Image © Wikipedia / Freedom From Want © Norman Rockwell, 1943
5.

Coca-Cola

Coca Cola, the world's largest beverage company, has an extensive art collection that spans over a century. The collection comprises over 100,000 pieces, including original artworks, prints, photographs, and illustrations. Coca Cola began collecting art in the early 20th century, with a focus on promoting their brand through advertising campaigns. The collection includes works by renowned artists such as Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and Haddon Sundblom, who created the iconic image of Santa Claus holding a bottle of Coca Cola.

In addition to advertising art, Coca Cola's collection also features contemporary pieces that reflect the company's values and commitment to social responsibility. For example, the company commissioned a series of murals in the 1940s that depicted scenes of racial harmony and diversity, a bold stance for a company during that time period.

While the exact value of Coca Cola's art collection is not publicly known, it is considered one of the largest corporate art collections in the world. The collection serves as a testament to the company's rich cultural history and commitment to creativity and innovation.

 A BMW car designed by Andy Warhol in 1979, covered in vibrant, multi-coloured stripes and brushstrokes reminiscent of Warhol's pop art style.Image © GMW Group / BMW Art Car (designed by Andy Warhol) © BMW AG, 1979
6.

BMW

BMW's art collection is an impressive assortment of contemporary art that reflects the brand's innovative and dynamic spirit. The collection consists of over 19,000 works of art, including photographs, paintings, sculptures, and video installations from artists such as Andy Warhol, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, and Gerhard Richter, among others. The company began acquiring art in the 1970s as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative, with a focus on supporting emerging artists and commissioning works specifically for their locations.

One of the most notable examples of the BMW Art Car project, in which the company commissions artists to create designs for racing cars, is the 1979 BMW M1, designed by Andy Warhol. The car features bold, colourful graphics and is a testament to the brand's commitment to blending art and technology. The collection is displayed in various BMW locations worldwide and has even been the subject of exhibitions at prestigious museums such as the Guggenheim in New York. While the exact value of the collection is not publicly disclosed, it is clear that BMW has made a significant investment in contemporary art as part of their overall brand strategy.

An installation artwork titled "Infinity Mirror Rooms" by Yayoi Kusama, featuring small rooms lined with mirrors, creating an infinite reflection of lights and shapes. Visitors immerse themselves in the kaleidoscopic experience.Image © Smithsonian Institution / Infinity Mirror Rooms © Yayoi Kusama, 2013
7.

Samsung

Samsung's art collection is a lesser-known but impressive part of the company's brand. The collection boasts over 500 works of art from both established and up-and-coming artists. The company's interest in the art world dates back to the 1990s when they started to acquire artworks to decorate their corporate offices. Since then, they have continued to acquire pieces that reflect their values, such as innovation, creativity, and technological advancement.

The collection includes pieces from well-known artists such as Andy Warhol, Joan Miró, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as contemporary artists like Yinka Shonibare and Do Ho Suh. One of the highlights of the collection is a massive installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, entitled Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls Of Millions Of Light Years Away, which features a dazzling, immersive display of LED lights and mirrors.

An expressive painting titled "Untitled (Skull)" by Jean-Michel Basquiat, depicting a skull rendered in black, grey, and white with vibrant hints of colour, surrounded by the artist's trademark symbols and text.Image © Rob Corder via Flickr CC 2.0 / Untitled (Skull) © Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1914
8.

LVMH

LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company, boasts an impressive art collection that includes works from renowned artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and Yayoi Kusama. The collection is said to be valued in the millions of dollars, although an exact figure is difficult to estimate.

LVMH's art collection is not only an impressive display of aesthetic value but also serves as a strategic investment for the company. The collection has been used to enhance the ambiance of LVMH's retail spaces and is also exhibited in their headquarters and hotels. Additionally, the collection has been used for philanthropic purposes, with LVMH sponsoring art exhibitions and supporting art foundations.

One notable piece in LVMH's collection is Basquiat's Untitled (Skull) painting, which was purchased in 2017 for a record-breaking $110 million. The piece is now on display in the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. LVMH also has an extensive collection of contemporary Chinese art, including works by Zhang Huan, Xu Bing, and Yan Pei-Ming.

9.

AT&T

AT&T has a rich art collection that includes a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The collection showcases works by many notable artists, including Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andy Warhol.

One of the highlights of AT&T's art collection is Calder's Untitled, a large, brightly-coloured mobile sculpture that hangs in the lobby of their headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The sculpture, which features a series of delicately balanced geometric shapes, is a stunning example of Calder's signature style and is one of the most impressive works in the collection.

Another notable piece in AT&T's collection is Warhol's Marilyn, a silkscreen print that captures the iconic Hollywood actress in her signature pose. The work is part of Warhol's series of Monroe portraits, which he created in the wake of her tragic death in 1962.

A red, fibreglass sculpture titled "Fat Mini" by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. The sculpture is a playful representation of a classic Mini Cooper car, exaggerated in size and shape to create a plump appearance. It stands on four small wheels.Image © Thaddaeus Ropac / Fat Mini © Erwin Wurm, 2018
10.

Progressive

Progressive Insurance, one of the largest car insurers in the US, has a well-known art collection that includes over 8,000 contemporary works by emerging artists. The company began collecting art in the early 1970s, and their collection now includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and mixed media works. The collection has been on display at their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio since 1979, and it is open to the public.

One of the notable pieces in the collection is The Idea Of Order At Key West by American artist Robert Rauschenberg, which is part of his Jammer series. The piece features a mix of different media, including paint, newspaper clippings, and images of maps and cityscapes. Another prominent piece in the collection is Fat Mini by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, which is a sculpture of a Mini Cooper with a distorted shape

The company's art collection is not just a way to decorate their headquarters, but also an example of their commitment to supporting emerging artists and promoting creativity.

The corporate world's interest in art is a reflection of the growing importance of art as an investment and cultural asset. The art collections of companies such as JPMorgan Chase, UBS, and Coca-Cola demonstrate their commitment to fostering creativity and innovation within their organizations and communities. These collections are not only a reflection of a company's values but also an essential part of their brand identity. The world's most impressive corporate art collections showcase the diversity and richness of the art world, from ancient artefacts to contemporary works. As the business world continues to embrace the arts, we can expect to see more companies following in the footsteps of these trailblazers.

As renowned art dealer and collector Larry Gagosian said, “Art is not just a luxury commodity; it's an essential part of the cultural fabric of society. And by supporting art, corporations are investing in the world's most valuable asset: our collective creativity.”

Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

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