In the dim and distant past, that is in March 2004, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst released the results of two surveys it had done, and published its findings under the heading “Business and the Arts Make Great Partners: Survey Reveals Workplace Art Collections Are Valuable for Business.”
Collecting art and exhibiting it as a sort of a cultural trophy in the corridors of HQ is not exactly a new idea, but that isn’t exactly what the article is suggesting. Keeping a company’s relationship with the Arts to a simple sponsor/beneficiary schema keeps it at a level of understanding which has not changed very much in centuries, and shortchanges both the benefactors and the artists.
We may actually go further and acknowledge that the relationship that companies have with the Arts has become more shallow since the Renaissance times. The Medici knew how to get the maximum value from their artists – by working with them, and not just commissioning their works. Commissioning by itself is, of course, a wonderful thing. It keeps artists fed and watered; the patrons are satisfied with how their support is translated into creating beautiful, meaningful objects; and the critics and dealers get their wheels greased.
However, that is just the beginning of what the relationship between business and the Arts could look like.
Working Artfully: How Art Can Help Your Business
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