Corporate Collections

Jan de Groot | University of Amsterdam | Corporate Collections | Supervisors: Nachoem Wijnberg & Arno Witte | 2015-2019

Corporate art collections form an important part of the demand for contemporary art in the Netherlands. Many corporate collections, from multinationals to non-profit organizations, showcase ‘avant garde’ art produced by artists just entering the art market, increasing these artists’ chances to be canonized and recognized as part of Dutch cultural heritage. At the same time, these collections are corporate, and an outcome of attitudes towards cultural consumption among the members of these organizations as well as a result of strategic decision making at the organizational level.

By using a signalling framework to integrate cultural studies and management science perspectives the project will study the effects of corporate art collecting in the context of the dynamics of the art world, as well as in the context of the competitive strategies in which corporations that build collections are involved. Within the framework of this larger NOW project, Jan de Groot will explore a number of case studies, including the Bijenkorf collection and the Stuyvesant Collection. Both constitute examples of early adaptors of artistic currents, for example the CoBrA school, which was also acquired by other museums in the Netherlands such as the Stedelijk Museum, and private collectors. This time-lapse between museums on the one hand, and the Bijenkorf and Stuyvesant collections on the other, will be compared to the acquisition of works by the same artists by other private and corporate collections in the Netherlands.