Charlotte, North Carolina’s new Mint Museum will open with an exhibition from the Bank of America art collection, the Charlotte Observer asks where it all began:
The Bank of America Collection is called one of the largest and finest in the world. Its size and value are not disclosed. It is strongest in contemporary American art. [...] Because the art was collected by banks in different parts of the country which were acquired by Bank of America, the exhibit offers geographic diversity. Chicago artists Roger Brown and Ed Paschke are included, as well as Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn from the San Francisco area. [...]
Under its “Art in Communities” program, Bank of America will put together 20 shows this year and in 2010 for museums around the country. Its first international exhibit, on the Wyeth family artists, opens next month in London.
The bank did not set out to collect art. Former CEO Hugh McColl Jr. liked to quip, “We just collected banks.” Still, many of those had art collections – Security Pacific National Bank in Los Angeles, Boatman’s Bancshares in St. Louis and FleetBoston Financial in Massachusetts.
Such companies followed a corporate art-collecting trend that grew during the 1950s and ’60s and probably peaked in the 1990s. Since, some companies such as Sara Lee Corp. have decided to dissolve their collections.
Several years ago, Blevins said, Bank of America considered doing that. Instead, it resolved to use the collection to support communities where it does business – and add some sheen to its name. “We get great public relations out of it,” said Blevins.
Bank of America collection to open Charlotte’s Mint Museum Uptown (Charlotte Observer)