Thursday, January 17, 2008

Art in the Corporate Environment

“Art is the signature of civilizations.”
Beverly Sills

Recently, I have been thinking about art in the corporate environment. Wondering if there were any statistics, I started looking around and found some interesting abstracts.

So far the statistics are nowhere to be found. It appears that quantifying art and its impact on the workplace has not been dealt with in a published form. But it has been dealt with in a less than empirical way. Having said that does not negate the fact that art is important as a visual stimulus. The abstracts made fascinating reading and were very hard to put down.

Some extracts from an abstract by Caroline Made at St. Andrews College include: “Corporate art investment has become part of the firm’s overall business strategy to promote its brand name and image. Corporations proclaim that they house art in order to create a more enjoyable and beneficial working environment for its employees as well as highlighting the philanthropic nature of its support of the arts. ….The corporate collection bestows a complex yet highly beneficial element to the firm’s internal environment. Art in the workplace provides an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere for both the firm’s workforce as well as outside clientele.”

Her comments send shivers of delight up my spine. These comments were made about Deutsche Bank’s collection; but I would assume that they are true of any other corporate setting desiring to broaden their appeal to clients and co-workers. Art would be treasured more if there was a statistically-based, quantifiably accurate way to demonstrate that art in the corporate world increased business metrics. Say it increased productivity and morale by 45% and made new clients fall into a cataleptic fit until they bought a 5 year supply of the company’s product. Would that be great or what?

To me, it would make for an easier marketing and selling proposition. To be able to hand art statistics to a CEO or President of a corporation would be virtually priceless. CEO’s and other business leaders understand and appreciate numbers. Supposedly, “the numbers don’t lie”. It would take selling art away from being a soft, squishy selling proposition to a numbers game. One more sales objection would be satisfied.

It would be the end of boring, featureless hallways, or would hope for that. I can see the headlines now in the Wall Street Journal: XXX Technology Company Goes into Bankruptcy. You read the story and find out that the poor Luddite company owner did not buy art to enrich the company environment and his company failed because of that. And then I woke up.

Copyright 2008 Carl Wright

1 comment:

Custom Stained Glass Art said...

I read your post with great interest as I am getting ready to promote my husband's art company ArtMushroom. It all started with an idea to promote it to corporate buyers. Your post proved it that banks can invest in artistic assets and it would not anger their customers that they are buying art with 'their' money.