Bank of Spain first bank to commission art collection

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Sculpture by Jean Dubuffet outside Chase Manhattan bank
Sculpture by Jean Dubuffet outside Chase Manhattan bank Credit: Friscocali flickr

THE first incarnation of what was to become the Bank of Spain was founded in 1782 and one of its first acts was to commission six paintings by young Spanish artist Francisco Goya and this started a trend that is followed by banks around the world.

Nowadays, many artists who are looking for recognition are being sought out by curators of bank’s collections throughout the world and they are becoming major sponsors of modern art with the expectation of some of the artworks becoming very valuable.

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Bankers such as David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan in the 50s perhaps alert to the theft of art of all types by the Nazis started amassing an incredible collection and other American banks in particular joined in so that nowadays museums often have to borrow important works from them in order to stage exhibitions.

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