More than money:

An interdisciplinary perspective on art in organizations

This conference is the closing event of a four-year research project, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Netherlands Association of Corporate Art Collections (VBCN) on corporate collecting in the Netherlands. This project, Corporate collections as emerging heritage: Art market dynamics, corporate strategies, and public support for the arts focused on present-day corporate collecting as a source of signals to different audiences, i.e., internal and external stakeholders of the collecting organizations to museums and other actors in the art market.

Conference organizers

Arnold Witte and Jan de Groot, University of Amsterdam, dept. of Cultural History, and Monika Kackovic and Nachoem Wijnberg, University of Amsterdam Business School, with the assistance of Marharyta Nazarenko.

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In the decades following the Second World War, corporate art collecting has become a widely accepted and much–adopted corporate practice in the industrialized and post-industrialized world. Today, many organizations ranging from multinationals to non-profit organizations buy and showcase visual art, often by artists who are in the early phase of their careers. The methods and policies of artwork acquisition and display are highly professional, with corporate art collections usually managed by curators with an educational background in art history and/or broad experience in the art world.

Despite these developments, research on corporate art collections remains scarce and fragmented between disciplines and national contexts. This is unfortunate, especially given that corporate art collecting can be linked to other significant yet little-understood shifts in both art and organizations. Corporate art collections, for instance, are destined to play an increasing role in discussions about national cultural policies, as they have become depositories of future heritage due to their acquisition policies being comparable to that of museums and other institutional collectors. On the one hand, as corporate art collectors become increasingly dominant consumers of art, this leads to questions about the role of these organizations in the art world. On the other hand, companies and non-profit institutions use their art collections strategically, to express e.g. organizational identity and culture, which is reflective of the increasing use of organizational artefacts and spaces for the purpose of communicative action.

The above mentioned developments have significant implications for both the role of art and organizations in society, leading to new research questions. This international conference brings together a group of scholars working in the fields of art history, sociology, organization studies, law, economics, and management studies in order to share and exchange perspectives on the phenomenon of art and organizations.

Practical information

The conference sessions held on Friday 13th are partly in preparation for the edited volume. Their access is open to volume contributors and invited attendees. If you are interested in attending the seminar as a non-participant, you can request admission by sending an e-mail to

Sessions on Saturday 14th are welcoming everyone interested. Conference participation is free. The conference is fully online and hosted via Zoom Webinar, which you can access by clicking on this link ( in a new tab ).Below you can find the conference program, which is set in CET (Central European Time).

We are now working on the conference recordings. After we arrange some practical matters, we intend to make the videos available online. Check this website for further updates.

Conference program

November 13th


Artists and organizations

09:30 Opening word

 09:45 Barbara Tiberi – Evolving corporate narratives: comparing past and present artistic programmes at Renault

 10:00 Marharyta Nazarenko – Marketing strategies for ironically consumed products in the setting of corporate art collecting

 10:15 Discussion

 10:30 30-minute break

Corporate art management

 11:00 Rhonda Olsen – The impact of corporate art collections on employees

 11:15 Katharina Pohler – The potential of corporate art – Collections in crisis and reputational communication

 11:30 Alicja Waszkiewicz-Raviv – Organizational modern art exhibition: from the mall to the mountain monastery

 11:45 Discussion



13:00 Makoto Shimada – Corporate Art Collection and Public Trust in Japan

13:15 Jorge Morales – Spending for Music. The Cardinals’ Musical Patronage in the Early Modern Period, a model for the Twenty-First Century?

13:30 Karolina Łabowicz-Dymanus – How an NGO created the brand: New Art from the Former East

 13:45 Discussion

 14:00 30-minute break

National varieties

 14:30 Teija Luukkaanen-Hirvikoski – From decorations to organizational cultures: Corporate art collecting in Finland

 14:45 Sandra Lang – From Advertising to Abstraction to Art for Art’s Sake: Corporate Art Collecting in the United States

 15:00 Ljudmilla Djukic – Corporate Collections in Countries in Transition

 15:15 Discussion

November 14th

The link to the session

 12:00                         Opening by Anne Clement-van Vugt (Board member VBCN) Arnold Witte (UvA)

 12:20                         Monika Kackovic, Jan de Groot and Arnold Witte: Dutch corporate art collections and their impact: research from managerial, sociological and art historical perspectives

 13:00                         Q&A

 13:30                         Mukti Khaire (Cornell Tech, Girish and Jaidev Reddy Professor of the Practice): Culture and Commerce: The Value of Entrepreneurship in Creative Industries.

 14:00                         Olav Velthuis (UvA, Professor in Cultural Sociology): The Return of the Medici? The Global Rise of Private Museums for Contemporary Art

 14:30                         Panel discussion

 15:00                         Conclusion

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