How Long Can the Financial Firms Sponsor Art World Events?
Too many financial firms are experiencing exploding balance sheets or facing the threat of extinction. Anthony Haden-Guest looks into the fate of art world sponsorships for Portfolio.com and discovers there’s a good business reason for all of that art world beneficence. So don’t expect it to go away too easily:
Lehman has spent more than $14 million on sponsorships annually since 2002, supporting more than 80 cultural institutions. This year it was lead sponsor of ART HK 08, a new Hong Kong art fair that ran in May.
“Asia is not only part of the emerging strength of Contemporary art, but it is also a strategic focus for us,” Kittredge says. “We have close to 5,000 employees working in Asia between India and the Pacific Rim. And spreading our brand is part of our worldwide business strategy.”
Which helps explain the apparent immunity of the arts programs from the headman’s ax.
Like Lehman, UBS is feeling a lot of pain this year. They’ve got a big art collection and a hefty sponsorship deal with ArtBasel.
A Bear Market for Art Giving? (Portfolio.com)