Is corporate art collecting still a thing?

The corporate art collection may have changed since the ‘greed is good’ days but it still has an important role to play in terms of branding and wellbeing.

A significant corporate art collection has long reigned as a symbol of prestige, a marker of success, and an embodiment of a company’s aspirations and brand values. It can boost the brand, enliven the corporate workspaces, demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility, and may even be a good long-term investment. And many corporate collections favour works that are optimistic and energised as a way of demonstrating their agility and future-focus.

Global banking corporation UBS is often regarded as the benchmark in corporate art collecting and includes paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures and video art. The UBS Art Collection has been amassed since the 1960s and currently represents artists from over 70 countries. The collection’s mission is to build and maintain a seminal body of work that provokes thought while being inspirational. UBS is also committed to supporting and encouraging the artistic communities in places where they have a business presence. For UBS and other major corporates, the art collection becomes part of their brand signature. It tells the world that they are culturally engaged and have a vision beyond the bottom line that adds value for shareholders, employees, and clients by underlining their brand image.

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Dr Diana Carroll
About the Author
Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the SMH, the Oz, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.