Tips for Building a Corporate Art Collection

Businesses that collect art and maintain a corporate art collection can improve their corporate culture, add a new dimension to their corporate social responsibility outreach, and significantly enhance their brand image.

There are significant benefits to having a corporate art collection. However, sometimes the task of building and maintaining an art collection may not fall into the hands of an arts specialist. If that’s the case, there are ways to smartly create a collection without an art history degree.

Here are a few tips to get you started building a corporate art collection:

Have an Art Collection Strategy

A  corporate collection should operate in strict parameters since the artwork on display is reflective of the company, brand, and culture. Much like growing a company with a business strategy, it is helpful to run through the same exercise with your art collection. Developing a clear collection strategy will help determine the goals and boundaries of the collection.

To get started, walk through the following thought exercises.

  •  Assess your space and identify the areas to focus on for your art collection. Does your lobby need an oversized piece or does the conference room need some interesting texture that doesn’t distract too much?
  •  Think of the walls as well. Your office might have a two-story atrium that can accommodate a hanging sculpture or light fixture. Does the outdoor space scream for a sculpture? What about the corner, could it use a display pedestal?
  •   Understand the brand aesthetic and the goals behind a collection. Ask yourself what you want the spaces to feel like. Are you looking for works that reinforce your industry? Do you need to avoid nudity and religious iconography or is your company culture on the edge?
  •  Consider the scope of your clients and visitors. Do you service a specific area that would appreciate local artists? Do you bring in international guests who would be comfortable being reminded of your worldwide reach?

Look to outside art professionals.

A common way to build a corporate art collection is to bring in professionals.

“Meeting with an art consultant is the easiest and most effective way for a corporation to begin a collection. There’s a lot to consider both strategically and aesthetically. An experienced art consultant can walk a client through the process to ensure the collection meets desired financial and cultural outcomes.” 

Not only will an experienced corporate art consultant help you build the collection, but they will also ensure the proper installation, care, and maintenance of the pieces to protect your investment. All of which can be tracked in a cloud-based art collection management system to make your life much easier.

The Impact Of Art In The Workplace

Karen Higginbottom
Contributor Forbes Magazine

​​The impact of art in the workplace is often underestimated. Splashes of color in a painting can alter the mood of a meeting room or a piece of unusual artwork can provide a talking point in a bland corporate space. But can artwork have a direct impact on employee productivity or well-being? It seems the answer is yes. 

Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier — they’re also up to 32% more productive. The research involved more than 2,000 office workers in a series of studies looking at attitudes to and productivity within working space. But it was two further studies, one at Exeter University and another in commercial offices which saw participants take on a series of tasks in a  workspace that was either lean (bare and functional), enriched  (decorated with plants and pictures), empowered (allowing the individual to design the area) or disempowered (where the individual’s design was redesigned by a “manager”). This study found that people working in enriched spaces (decorated with art or plants) were 17% more productive than those in lean spaces. 

The notion that art in the workplace is merely decorative was dispelled in a survey of more than 800 employees working for 32 companies throughout the U.S. that have workplace art collections. The survey, a collaboration of the Business Committee for the Arts and the International Association for Professional Art Advisors drew responses from firms ranging from food distributors to law firms that house workplace collections. It found that art in the workplace helps businesses address key challenges such as reducing stress (78% agree), increasing creativity (64% agreed), and encouraging expression of opinions (77% agreed).

A smaller study at Cass Business School explored the perceptions of employees towards art in the workplace and its effect on themselves, the clients, or company image. Both male (64%) and female (73%) respondents agreed that the design of their workplace has an effect on their working day. Interestingly, male respondents not only rated art (39%) as one of the most important elements of the interior design of the workplace compared to other elements such as plants (39%) or a lounge area (35%), but they also give art higher importance as an interior design element compared to female respondents. Only 17% of women named art as a crucial component of interior design.

However, the impact of art on the individual employee regarding work ethic/motivation, creativity,  stress-level, and general well-being seems to be greater on women than on men. While 80% of the male respondents agreed that art has a minor effect on their work ethic/motivation; all of the female respondents agreed that it has some effect on them. Specifically, 54% of women acknowledged that art has a moderate to big effect on their creativity at the office (47% of men) and 80% of the women agreed that art at the office could reduce their stress levels (66% of the men). Furthermore, 92% of the women stated that art affects their general well-being, compared to 71% of the men.


Art in the workplace benefits both employees and company

How would you like to reduce stress at the office, increase creativity and productivity, enhance employee morale, broaden appreciation of diversity, and encourage open dialogue? Art in the workplace promotes all these fundamental needs — and even more — for any successful business.

Most people connect with art because it touches a memory, or it conjures up an image of a time or places beyond our everyday reach. Art gives us a brief vacation from the stress and pressures we face daily. For a moment in time, you can daydream a little. In a blink of an eye, you are then refreshed in some special way and are re-energized for the rest of the workday.


In 1967, David Rockefeller established the Business Committee for the Arts Inc. (BCA) — a national nonprofit organization that brings business and the arts together, and found the following regarding the value of the arts in corporate America:

  •    The arts are essential to the quality of life in a community. The arts, along with educational institutions, health, and human services, and housing, help make a community livable and an attractive place to live, visit and work.
  •    The arts are a critical component in K-12 education. The arts increase SAT scores, improve academic performance and problem-solving skills, help redirect at-risk students, and are essential to the development of a skilled and creative workforce.
  •    The arts are good for business. The arts offer opportunities to build customer and client relationships, enhance employee and community relations, and attract and retain employees. The arts also enhance economic vitality by purchasing goods and services and generating sales for other businesses.
  •    The arts affirm and celebrate who we are. Beyond their intrinsic value, the arts stimulate creative thinking and foster an appreciation and understanding of various cultures.

To assess their views, the BCA and International Association of Professional Art Advisors (IAPAA) conducted a research survey across industries that established a positive relationship between job productivity, stress, morale, creativity, and art in the workplace. Employees (82 percent) said art was important in the work environment, and 73 percent said their view of the company would change if the art were removed.

The many memorial monuments across our nation attest to the desire and need to reflect on and honor the people and events throughout history. Whether in a corporate office or a public park, art touches hearts and lives in many significant and surprising ways.

Art in the workplace

Successful companies are not isolated from the society where they do business. Art provides a forum for communication, expanded thinking, dialogue, and creativity. To that end, public and corporate art are essential components for creating a vibrant community.

The question now is how can companies help our nation’s communities promote the creation of vibrant communities? Here are some factors to consider:

  •    How can your company support your city’s cultural and revitalization plans with art in the workplace and public areas?
  •    What kind of art do you want to display in your company and community?
  •    What theme do you want to portray that would support your values, vision, and goals on behalf of your employees and clients?
  •    What media does your company want to focus on — painting, bronze sculpture, photography, fiber art, mixed media?
  •    What type of care oversight do you have (placement rotation, maintenance, security, damage restoration, insurance)?
  •    How much are you willing to spend from your budget — quantity vs. quality?
  •    Do you need to hire a professional to design and layout your company’s art collection?

Although art in the workplace is a common sight today, sometimes the quality is sacrificed for quantity. Company employees responsible for the choices are, at times, unaware of their creative options for choosing media other than paintings or a small decorative sculpture on a table. Often the decision to place art in the workplace is purely a decorative one, and not an integral part of the design and construction process of the facility. That is why companies would benefit from hiring professional art consultants and established artists to design their art collections and layout to match the company’s strategic mission.

There is something extraordinary that happens between artists, their art, and the people who love and support their gift. I encourage you to experience the transformation of your corporate culture by inviting art and the artist into your workplace. When done with thoughtful and expert strategic planning, your employees will thank you for their productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction; and your clients and public will thank you for their loyal patronage.

Article credit: Sharon L. Benedict and Doug Roper, Art in the workplace benefits both employees and company, May 11, 2006,

Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-Being

There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence that proves art enhances brain function. It has an impact on brain wave patterns and emotions, the nervous system, and can actually raise serotonin levels. Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.

Decades of research have provided more than a sufficient amount of data to prove that arts education impacts everything from overall academic achievement to social and emotional development and so much more. Research has proven the arts develop neural systems that produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance. Quite simply, the arts are invaluable to our proper functioning individually and as a society.

This article was originally written in March 2015, and updated on May 27, 2016, June 2019, and September 2019.

“The arts are a critical component of healthcare. Expressive art is a tool to explore, develop and practice creativity as a  means to wellness.” ~ Wellarts Association

Arts With The Brain in Mind

Evidence from brain research is only one of many reasons education and engagement in fine arts are beneficial to the educational process. As Eric Jensen, one of the leading translators in the world of neuroscience into education, states in his book Arts with the Brain in Mind, “The systems they nourish, which include our integrated sensory,  attentional, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacities, are, in fact, the driving forces behind all other learning.”

This notion of how the arts and the brain work together is supported by another study, conducted by Judith Burton, professor of Art Education and Research, Teachers College, Columbia University, which reveals that subjects such as mathematics, science, and language require complex cognitive and creative capacities that are “typical of arts learning.”

Art Changes Consciousness

In his article on the Natural Blaze website, Jacob Devaney wrote “When you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition”.

Education in the Arts is An Integral Part

And, according to Bob Bryant, Executive Director of Fine Arts at Katy, ISD (Katy, Independent School District (, in Houston, Texas, “Education in the arts is an integral part of the development of each human being. Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important  component in the educational program of every student in Katy ISD.”

Increased Blood Flow to the Brain

In May 2011, Robert Mendick, a reporter for The Telegraph, wrote an article ( about an experiment conducted by Professor Semir Zeki, chair in neuroaesthetics at University College London. Zeki explained, “We wanted to see what happens in the brain when you look at beautiful paintings.” The experiment concluded when you look at art “whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract or a portrait – there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure.” The participants underwent brain scans while being shown a series of 30  paintings by major artists. When viewing art they considered most beautiful their blood flow increased in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10%, which is the equivalent to gazing at a loved one. Paintings by John Constable, Ingres, and Guido Reni produced the most powerful ‘pleasure’ response.

Awe, Wonder, and Beauty Promote Healing

Psychologist Dr. Dacher Keltner, of California University in Berkeley, said: “That awe, wonder, and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests the things we do to experience these emotions – a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy.” Source: Art does heal: scientists say appreciating creative works can fight off disease

The experience of viewing awe-inspiring art has a positive effect o  the physical body and mental state. In an article on the University of Wisconsin Health website, psychologist Shilagh Mirgain, Ph.D. was quoted  as saying, “Awe has many important implications for our well-being.” Mirgain explained, “Experiencing awe can give us a sense of hope and provide a feeling of fulfillment.”

Many medical-related articles also provide evidence that points to the physical benefits derived from experiencing awe-inspiring moments on a routine basis. A recent study from the University of California-Berkeley found that “participants who experienced more awe-struck moments had the lowest levels of interleukin-6, a marker of  inflammation.” Read Increase Your Well-Being With Awe-Inspiring Art.

Artists Are Healthier

The Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) at the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) established that artists suffer less loneliness and depression than the general population. According to the study, mature artists are highly functioning members of society and are twice likely to do volunteer work as others. The study proved the benefits of the ART CART, a program that serves mature artists. The research also proved the general benefits of art-making and creative collaboration for the aging population.

Artists’ Statements in The Healing Power of ART Exhibition

Every year Manhattan Arts International presents The Healing Power of ART exhibition. We receive art and artists’ statements on a range of subjects and explain why artists create art. Some statements deal with physical and mental illness. One artist wrote: “Within the last ten years painting has been a continuous remedy for the depression and pain” While still another wrote: “I believe art saved my life, pulled me out of a coma…” Read Does Art Have The Power to Save Lives?

Art Reduces Stress

On the U.S. National Institute of Health’s (NIH) website, according to the extensive research publication “The Connection Between  Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature” by Heather L. Stuckey, DEd and Jeremy Nobel, MD, “Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of  chronic disease.” They also stated, “Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts.”

Art and Brain Functions

A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is titled “How Creativity Works in the Brain”.  This report comes after previous NEA initiatives including the  NEA/Walter Reed Healing Arts Partnership. Like Bill O’Brien, NEA senior advisor to the chairman for innovation stated, “The time is ripe for bringing together artists, scientists, and educators to collaboratively confront the question of how creativity functions in the brain.” He went on say, “Imagine the potential for our nation’s health, education, culture, and productivity if we were able to truly understand the anatomy of our ‘aha’ moments, and how they can be nurtured, optimized, and deployed.”

Da Vinci’s Brain

“Leonardo da Vinci, the Codex Leicester, and the Creative Mind,” was an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ Target Galleries, offered rare insights into one of history’s greatest renaissance thinkers. It also revealed how his innovative mental processes are shared by some of today’s most visionary artists, engineers, and designers. By bringing together da Vinci’s observations with contemporary works by artists and designers the exhibition explored how the creative process unfolds.


The Influence of Contemporary Art in Corporate Spaces

Covering the power of a bespoke art strategy in increasing productivity and creativity; the important considerations to bear in mind when investing in contemporary art, and how art consultants play a vital role within this process.

The Influence of Contemporary Art in Corporate Spaces

As Deutsche Bank states; art builds, art questions, art transcends borders, artworks… A corporate art collection should not only be focused on investment, rather it should align with the company’s every moral and value to become part of its DNA. An art collection can be a powerful communication tool that speaks to clients as well as employees.

In today’s world, we are busy on a daily basis, with barely have the time to relax, take a break and simply enjoy the little things in life – especially when we sit in front of a huge to-do list in offices, surrounded by equally busy colleagues in an even busier workplace. This is where art – or better still – a curated art collection, comes into play. A carefully curated art collection allows people to connect, builds engagement, and inspires them daily. Some believe design is the key, but research has shown incorporating original artwork does not only offer various ways to inspire employees but also allows them to relax and be part of the corporate culture that the firm has to offer. In the end, the art collection should be utilized strategically to make employees feel a part of the company DNA; even incorporating team members in the selection and installation process. This article will outline the importance of incorporating original artworks in a  corporate environment and how to make the most of your art concept to benefit employees and clients alike within corporate projects.

First, it’s important to understand that art inspires creativity and leads to an increase in productivity. A curated art collection embodies the corporate value behind a firm, reflecting the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Various surveys conducted over the years have shown that well-chosen art makes employees and their workplace feel more welcoming and also improves individual and collective wellbeing. Doctors have even started recommending art psychotherapy to help patients explore their mental health, so it seems visiting a gallery/museum could soon replace the popularised practice of retail therapy! It’s also important to note that art is also a financial asset – even when investing in emerging and up-and-coming artists. Making the right emotional and financial investment for your projects, therefore, boils down to the strategy behind it, and this is where an art consultant comes in to support the selection process.

The Influence of Contemporary Art in Corporate Spaces

How & Where 

First things first, you and your team should work in collaboration with the art consultant to establish the basic requirements of the project to align the art selection with the project brief. You should develop an overall vision and strategy for the art; an allocated budget; the desired locations/spaces in the office or building; as well as the deadline and initial ideas on how to utilize it. Once those questions have been answered, it becomes about researching local and international artists to start the selection process with your team. It is a very personal and hands-on approach in order to the best source and suggests artists that reflect your vision, align with the interior design scheme, as well as convey the firm’s philosophy and overall corporate identity. Additionally, arranging artist studio meetings or inviting artists to showcase their work is all part of the process.  Once the art selection is confirmed and agreed upon with you and your team, the acquisition process, logistics, and installation with professional art handlers are the next steps.

The Benefits 

The final art collection can feature literally any shape, size, and medium that you desire or that is required for space; from large-scale sculptures, interactive digital art, screenprints, and textiles to paintings, photography, and neon art installations. In the end, it all derives from the concept behind the collection and the detailed strategy developed and implemented to communicate the end client’s values, philosophy, and passion to support the culture of the company and enhance the overall interior design. Not to mention the potential of the art increases in value over time, making for even happier clients!

The Influence of Contemporary Art in Corporate Spaces


How to Decorate an Executive Office

How to Decorate an Executive Office

As professional Art Consultants, we’re experts at creating unique, sensational, and productive corporate environments. Whether you want to project an image or enhance your work environment, we will help you every step of the way. Art programs including staff artwork are not uncommon requests that we have completed for a client before. Actually, it’s a beautiful way to enhance the work environment, involve employees, and create a wonderful sense of community within the company. If this is something you are interested in learning more about, please contact us today for more information.