The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, November 1, 2014


Will Tough Times Trigger Wealthy Banks and Companies to Sell their Art?
This picture provided by Sotheby's shows an untitled 2001 work by Julie Mehretu, which will be one of more than 400 works from the corporate contemporary art collection of the failed investment bank Lehman Brothers that will go on sale at auction this fall. Corporations worried about the bottom line are taking a look at their office walls. Over decades, some of the world's wealthiest banks and companies have built up art collections, rich in modern masters, that are the envy of many museums. Now, many are selling them off some from choice but others, like the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, to pay off hungry creditors. AP Photo/Sotheby's.

By: Jill Lawless, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP).-Corporations worried about the bottom line are taking a look at their office walls.

Over decades, many of the world's wealthiest banks and companies have built up art collections, rich in modern masters, that are the envy of many museums. Now, some are selling off works that adorn offices and boardrooms — some from choice, but others to pay off hungry creditors.

The latter category includes collapsed bank Lehman Brothers, whose multimillion-dollar collection of works by Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter and others is going under the hammer next month.

"Over the last five or six years we've dealt with more and more corporate as well as private clients," said Saul Ingram, head of European corporate art services at Sotheby's auction house.

"Obviously there have been economic changes in the last couple of years, and I think that has heralded a change in attitudes — that these collections need to be trimmed, to focus on quality."

Cathy Elkies, head of private and corporate collections at Christie's, also says she has seen an increase in the corporate side of the business, and expects it to continue.

"In some cases, organizations are editing and refocusing their collections," she said. "Others are looking to completely divest themselves of their art offerings."

Corporations collect art for a variety of reasons, of which turning a profit is often the least important. Some companies like to see supporting emerging artists as a form of corporate social responsibility, or philanthropy — works can be lent to museums and galleries for shows.

Others use art to flaunt their corporate wealth. Fred Goodwin, former chief executive of the once high-flying but now state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland used to boast about the David Hockney in his office.

Sometimes, art is used to enliven the work environment. Half a century ago, industrialist Alexander Orlow adorned the walls of his Turmac tobacco factory in the Netherlands with bright abstract works — inspired by the theme "joie de vivre" — to cheer his workers.

British American Tobacco later acquired the company and closed the factory. In March, BAT sold more than 160 of the artworks at auction for 13.6 million euros.

"We want our offices to be an interesting and stimulating environment," said Robert Korzinek, a fine art underwriter at Hiscox, which is both an art insurer and a collector, with a trove of contemporary works by Gavin Turk, Grayson Perry and others. "It's aimed at stimulating our staff, and stimulating our guests."

Around the world, companies are sitting on artistic riches that the public seldom sees. The JP Morgan Chase Art Collection, founded by David Rockefeller in 1959, has 30,000 pieces, including works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol.

In Britain, the banks RBS, HSBC and Barclays all have large caches of art — unlike BP PLC, which despite drawing protests from environmentalists accusing it of using art sponsorships to whitewash its oil-stained image, doesn't have a large corporate collection of its own.

"In certain of our buildings around the U.K. and elsewhere there are pieces of art," said BP spokesman David Nicholas. "But there are also many, many photos of oil platforms."

Germany's Deutsche Bank began collecting art in the 1970s and now has a trove of more than 56,000 works, by artists including Joseph Beuys, Henri Matisse, Nan Goldin, Jeff Koons and Lucian Freud, displayed on the walls of its offices and branches in 48 countries.

When companies go under, it can trigger an art market bonanza. In December, bankruptcy administrators of troubled Italian airline Alitalia sold a collection of Futurist artworks for 1.2 million euros.

In June, Sotheby's sold 1,000 photographs by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and other lens masters as part of a bankruptcy court-approved sale of the collection of defunct camera-maker Polaroid.

The tradition of corporations buying art in good times — and selling it in bad — stretches back decades. One pioneer was IBM president Thomas Watson, Sr., who amassed works by Frida Kahlo and other artists to decorate the IBM pavilion at the 1939 World Art Fair in New York. In the 1990s, a cash-strapped IBM sold its collection through Sotheby's for $31 million.

Other sales have been even bigger. In 1989 a pension fund for British railway workers, which had been buying art as an investment for years, sold its collection for $99 million. In 1998, the Reader's Digest corporate collection sold for $93 million.

Judd Tully, editor-at-large of Art and Auction magazine, says we're unlikely nowadays to see big companies selling off artworks in bulk because of the negative publicity it would generate.

"It raises a red flag — 'They're selling their art collection, they must be going broke,'" he said.

More likely, companies will sell selected high-value works, with the money often channeled back into corporate art collections.

In June, Germany's HypoVereinsbank sold a blue sponge painting by Yves Klein from its collection through Sotheby's for 6.2 million pounds.

When Germany's Commerzbank took over Dresdner Bank in 2009, it also acquired Alberto Giacometti's sculpture "Walking Man," which became the most expensive artwork ever when it was sold at Sotheby's in London in February for 65 million pounds.

Next month's Lehman Brothers auctions in at Sotheby's in New York and Christie's in London are expected to raise $12 million for the bank's creditors — a significant sum, though only a tiny fraction of the $613 billion in debts held by Lehman when it collapsed in September 2008, helping trigger a global financial meltdown.

Korzinek, the underwriter, said he expected interest in the sale to be high — and not just because of the quality of the art.

"It'll be interesting to see whether the Lehman provenance increases the value of the collection," he said. "There will be some who will see these not just as works of art, but a chance to buy a memento mori of the credit crunch."

____

Associated Press Writers Ula Ilnytzky in New York and Melissa Eddy in Berlin contributed to this report.




Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.





Last Week News

August 26, 2010

Egypt's Antiquities Department Announces Discovery of 3,500-Year-Old Oasis Trading Post

National Museum Wales Acquires Important Venetian Painting

Lewis & Clark Among Top Lots at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Auction

Leeds Art Gallery Displays Major Elisabeth Frink Sculpture

Mexico's Anthropology Specialists Identify Name of Maya Ruler

Will Tough Times Trigger Wealthy Banks and Companies to Sell their Art?

Sotheby's to Hold a Sale of the Contents of One of England's Most Romantic Country Houses

Nick Cave's World-Famous Soundsuits Featured in the Pages of Vogue

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces New Registrar

Christie's to Offer One of the Most Important Collections of Archaic Bronzes

Christie's to Sell Property from Highly Respected Interior Decorator Robert Kime

Egyptian Tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, Offers Reward for Van Gogh Theft

Hebrew Manuscripts on View during High Holy Days at Metropolitan Museum

IMA to Present Video Exhibition Examining the Relationship Between Camera Frame and Unbounded Space

Debbie Reynolds' Collection to Highlight September Auction of Furniture and Decorative Arts

Mosque Developer Claims a Classic NYC Background

Relics from Captain Scott's Fatal Last Epedition to Be Offered at Christie's

Larry Gagosian to Present Masterpieces from His Private Collection

Bacardi Celebrates Ties to Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

National Archives to House Infamous Nazi World War II Papers

Norman Foster Designs First Office Headquarters in Argentina

Marlborough in London Presents the Work of Caroline Walker

Christie's Presents Highest Value South Asian Art Sale Ever Offered

Bavarian State Library: First Worldwide to Offer Precious Digitalized Key Books

Jeff Koons' Infamous "Made in Heaven" Series to Go Back On View at Luxembourg & Dayan

Jim Henson's Original Kermit the Frog Comes Home to Washington

£35,000 Model Steam Engine Labelled "Mechanical Marvel of the Day" in 1898 to Sell at Bonhams

Colorado's Once-Missing Moon Rock to Be Unveiled

August 25, 2010

Mexican Archaeologists Extract 10,000 Year-Old Skeleton from Flooded Cave in Quintana Roo

Christie's Presents Highest Value South Asian Art Sale Ever Offered

Bavarian State Library: First Worldwide to Offer Precious Digitalized Key Books

Jeff Koons' Infamous "Made in Heaven" Series to Go Back On View at Luxembourg & Dayan

Relics from Captain Scott's Fatal Last Epedition to Be Offered at Christie's

Larry Gagosian to Present Masterpieces from His Private Collection

Bacardi Celebrates Ties to Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

National Archives to House Infamous Nazi World War II Papers

Norman Foster Designs First Office Headquarters in Argentina

Marlborough in London Presents the Work of Caroline Walker

Newseum in Washington Retells Katrina Story 5 Years Later

Sculptures and Paintings Lead Christie's Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art

Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archeological Plunder and Obsession

Group Representing Ansel Adams Sues Over Garage Sale Negatives

Haus Konstruktiv Celebrates Concrete, Constructivist and Conceptual Art

Egypt Culture Chief, Farouk Hosni, Sleepless Over Van Gogh Theft

Major International Art Project to Bring Dialogue Between the UK and Turkey

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby's

PBS Launches New "PBS Arts" Site to Expand Arts Content

United Kingdom Show Explores Jimi Hendrix's Links to Handel

United States Funds Restoration of Global Islamic Sites

Leonardo's Last Supper by Peter Greenaway at Park Avenue Armory

Nokuthula Ngwenyama Named 2010 Taft Museum of Art Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Annual Auction of Modern & Vintage Sporting Guns at Gleneagles Fetches £375,063

Copper Cast of Lady Liberty's Nose Up for Auction

August 24, 2010

Eli Broad Picks Downtown Los Angeles Site for Art Museum to Showcase His Collection

Newseum in Washington Retells Katrina Story 5 Years Later

Exceptional Bronzes, Sculpture and Paintings Lead Christie's Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art

Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archeological Plunder and Obsession

PBS Launches New "PBS Arts" Site to Expand Arts Content

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby's

Major International Art Project to Bring Dialogue Between the UK and Turkey

Haus Konstruktiv Celebrates 100-Year-Long History of Concrete, Constructivist and Conceptual Art

Group Representing Ansel Adams Sues Over Garage Sale Negatives

Egypt Culture Chief, Farouk Hosni, Sleepless Over Van Gogh Theft

Painting by Egon Schiele Stolen by Nazis Back in Austrian Museum

Empire State Building Cries Foul Over Proposed Rival Nearby

Spy Museum Adds Another Former Spy to Staff in Washington DC

Apply Yourself to Impressionist Gardens with New iPhone App

Large Scale Etchings by Richard Serra at Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie

The Whitney to Present Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time

Storm Knocks Down Monumental Tree that Cheered Anne Frank

Acropolis Open for Full Moon as Pay Dispute Solved

Who Shot Rock and Roll Ends Nation-Wide Tour at the Columbia Museum of Art

Trial Date Set in Associated Press-Shepard Fairey Dispute in NYC

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas to Feature First Romero Britto Store at Sea

San Jose Museum Opens First Museum Survey Devoted to Work of Leo Villareal

Asian Art Dealers New York Announce Exciting Fall Schedule of Exhibitions

Sotheby's London to Hold First-Ever Sale of Chimneypieces

100% Success in Gstaad: Entire Peter F. Baumberger Motor Car Collection Sold by Bonhams

Harn Museum of Art Receives $4.2 Million Collection of Asian Art

Sotheby's Hong Kong To Offer The Bordeaux Collection from SK Networks

August 23, 2010

Pomeranian State Museum to Open Exhibition by Three Masters of German Romanticism

Painting by Egon Schiele Stolen by Nazis Back in Austrian Museum

Billionaire Eli Broad Chooses Los Angeles Site for Art Museum

Egypt Deputy Minister, Mohsen Shalaan, Detained Over Van Gogh Theft

Apply Yourself to Impressionist Gardens with New iPhone App

Large Scale Etchings 1981-1990 by Richard Serra at Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie

The Whitney to Present Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time

New Exhibition of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art

Faulty Alarms Blamed for Van Gogh Theft at Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Egypt

Japanese Art Dealers Association Announces Asia Week Exhibitions

Park Avenue Armory Welcomes Yoshitomo Nara + YNG for Open Studio

Craftsman Seeks to Save Millennium-Old World of Chinese Lead Type

European Masterpieces Opening Soon at the Royal Academy of Arts

Countdown to Auctions America Debut in Auburn

Chinati Foundation Names Dr. Thomas Kellein as Director

Art Fair Tokyo Announces New Organizational Structure

VIP Art Fair: The First Art Fair to Launch in January Exclusively Online

Anne Noble: At the End of the Earth Opens at Stills Gallery in Sydney

Resounding Success at this Year's Art Nocturne Knocke

LA Unveils $578M School, Costliest in the Nation, Fine Art Murals Included

Group Exhibition of 8 Korean Media Artists to Open at Gallery Hyundai

New Orleans to Remember Hurricane Katrina with Richard Misrach Exhibition

New Installation by Trenton Doyle Hancock Takes Over the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park

August 22, 2010

Faulty Alarms Blamed for Van Gogh Theft at Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Egypt

Park Avenue Armory Welcomes Yoshitomo Nara + YNG for Open Studio

Taiwan Craftsman Seeks to Save Millennium-Old World of Chinese Lead Type

European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele Opening Soon at the Royal Academy of Arts

National Galleries of Scotland to Celebrate the Work of William McTaggart

The Morgan to Show Black-and-White Drawings by Roy Lichtenstein

Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to Star in American Pop Art Show

National Portrait Gallery Presents The John Partridge Sketchbook, 1823-27

Exhibition of North African Jewelry and Photography Announced in Philadelphia

James McNeill Whistler Prints on View at the University of Michigan

National Portrait Gallery to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of "Peanuts" Debut

German Artist and Director Christoph Schlingensief Dies at Age 49

Kunsthaus Zürich to Show "Karl Moser: Art and Architecture"

Bonhams Scottish Sale Defies the Recession to Make £1,800,000

Per Kirkeby Creates Specific Work for Beulas Foundation's Art and Nature Center

Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce on View at the Norton Museum of Art

Five Local-Born Artists in UK's Largest Painting Prize  

Arkansas Arts Center Presents Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey

Dundee Contemporary Arts Presents New Works by Mary Redmond and Sara MacKillop in Two Solo Exhibitions

August 21, 2010

30 years of Development of Chinese Contemporary Art Since the Reform in New Exhibition

The National Galleries of Scotland to Celebrate the Life and Work of William McTaggart

The Morgan to Show Black-and-White Drawings by Roy Lichtenstein

Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to Star in American Pop Art Show

National Portrait Gallery Presents The John Partridge Sketchbook, 1823-27

Exhibition of North African Jewelry and Photography Announced in Philadelphia

Major Exhibition of James McNeill Whistler Prints on View at the University of Michigan

Modern Works by Artist Joan Miró to Be Displayed at the Metropolitan Museum

Finding Reveals Contact Between Teotihuacan and Costa Grande Region

Salvador Dalí Sculpture Stolen from Belfortmuseum in Belgium

United States Museum Slams Romania for 'Anti-Semitic' Coin

Art Taipei 2010, the Longest-Standing Art Fair in Asia, Opens

Exhibition Series Presents Anri Sala's Installation "Title Suspended"

Judge Rejects Fisk Deal to Sell Georgia O'Keeffe Share

Photographer and Associated Press Drop Claims Against Each Other

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Presents "Americans Now"

Printmaking through the Ages at Christie's this September

Gold Bullion Stolen from Florida's Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

200 Faces, 200 Years Celebrates Mexican Bicentennial in Historic Photograph

World War II Warplane Raised from California Reservoir

Pay Row Kills Acropolis Moonlight Opening

Akron Art Museum Announces Re-Accreditation by the American Association of Museums

Rhode Island School of Design Museum to Open Renovated Galleries

70 Years on, Britain Remembers 'The Few'

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site