Companies around the world invest in art, be it through sponsorship activities or in the
establishment of corporate art collections. This study explores the primary reasons why
companies choose to invest in art collections, examining the South African financial
sector from the perspective of a developing country. It then assesses the possibility of
linking the purpose of an art collection with the type of art collected, to identify trends and
create guidelines for businesses and arts organisations respectively. Finally, it examines
the impact that leadership has on the implementation and continuity of an art collection
and how changes in leadership can have a direct impact on the focus and composition
of a collection.
The study employed exploratory research through the application of semi-structured, indepth
interviews with 13 individuals across 11 companies. These individuals
represented a variety of roles, internal and external to the organisation, ranging from the
chairperson to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to internal and external professional
curators. The insights obtained from these individuals were collated and analysed from
both a deductive and inductive perspective, to probe existing theories and generate new
ideas based on the information collected.
The findings of this study indicate that corporations within developing countries prioritise
the purpose and strategic intent of an art collection differently from companies in
developed markets. While it was not possible to determine definitive guidelines on how
the purpose of a collection impacts its composition, new insights were formulated on the
general focus of corporate collections on local, emerging artists, with high investment
potential. Finally, it was determined that for a collection to succeed and fulfil the strategic
aims of the company, it needs to have the active support of leadership and be built into
the fabric of the organisation.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.