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Why Do Corporations Buy Art?

Public funding for art stirs debate. Supporters say it enriches society, boosts creativity, and aids artists. Critics argue it's not a government role and funds could be better used. This discussion highlights art's societal value. Created by Smarthistory.

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  • blobby green style avatar for user lugardenallipettersson
    Great video lesson. I guess we can say that in most of cases, art follows the money. Like in Middle Ages and Renaissance, art was commissioned by the church/the Pope. It has shifted to the governments, as public owned museums like the Louvre, and the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
    Now it seems to me that there are more and more private investment and another shift is happening, with corporations and wealthy private persons owning (and inflating the price) of the works of art.
    We as a society should really think about the impact this is going to have about our cultural heritage. One good example is the Da Vinci Salvator Mundi, bought by an individual and that has since then disappeared från the public eye.
    What happens to a society the we allow our history to be owned by those who have the most financial assets and power?
    (11 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      This is good thinking (I've given you an upvote). I suppose the question comes down to who owns things, and whether or not they have the right to sell what they own. Certain countries restrict export of items of cultural heritage. The owner of a work of art is free to sell it to anyone who won't take it across a border. But to say, "although that's your personal property, you are forbidden to sell it," is a step many nations, cultures and the governments that represent them are unwilling to take.
      (3 votes)
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user rdeyke
    At , why is the presenter contrasting art with motivational posters? I don't like motivational posters either, but if photography qualifies as an art form, then surely the stock photography of motivational posters qualifies as art.

    In the 21st century, there are basically three types of artists. You've got the commercial artists producing everything from album covers and comics to stock photography for motivational posters, you've got the confidence artists selling bananas duck-taped to walls, and you've got the amateur artists working only to please themselves. The confidence artists like to brand themselves as "fine artists", but they're actually the least accomplished of the three groups. The commercial artists, on the other hand, need to actually be good in order to keep their jobs. They deserve respect.
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      It may be the difference of intent. I suggest you use a search engine to find an article on "commercial vs. fine art". That might offer you a good angle on it.

      Not all photographs, especially the ones of family reunions or pool parties, are art, or artful. Not all painting, especially that done in Tempera by kindergartners, is art. Cuisine is an art form, but the food you get at Burger King isn't cuisine.
      (1 vote)
  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user stpatrick749
    What is contemporary art?
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript