Art & Business

05/22/2015 03:28 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2016

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls" ~ Pablo Picasso (Spanish Painter, Sculptor 1881-1973)

Art is important to society, any society through the ages ナ combining art and business is not new. Think of the centuries where art and business were very much part of the citizen's world. There were the royal courts who paid for, promoted and gave the arts a grand platform or of the Medici of Italy (14th to 18th centuries) or the maligned, then beheaded royals of France (10th to 19th centuries) they all created art, luxuries and businesses never seen before, which are valued to this day.

Today we seek beauty and have great philanthropies and organizations which give the arts a platform for a broader audience, never seen in its power and influence before. We now observe the merger of art and business in an environment enjoyed by millions in all corners of the globe. Shining a spotlight on art and cultural relationships and business provides a better understanding between people of diverse nations. The quest for better communications through the arts help define businesses. By associating with the arts, businesses have discovered that their brands are enhanced and increase their reach and in the end their profitability. With the mantra of 'behind every art-form is a great visionary leader', this would include the business of pursuing excellence in products and service, prestigious organizations and venues report great results.

Heidi Steiger, President of Topridge Associates, expresses her perspective on the increasing importance of art and business:

"I have always thought the business and art worlds should work closely together. The arts can bring progress to the world of business - by thinking, looking and acting outside-of-the-box. After all, mankind has been communicating in pictures since the dawn of the caveman. We have an overwhelming need to document, remember, and comment on the world in which we live. My most significant experience of this was managing the art collection at Neuberger Berman while I was also leading its private wealth management business. A number of my partners and I collected contemporary art. The rule was that art was on public walls and not in our offices. Asset management is a very intellectual pursuit, but art made us more approachable and human to our clients. It said we cared about them and that we viewed the world through a different lens which provided us with insightful ideas resulting in good performance in their portfolios."

Greg Furman, Chairman and CEO of Luxury Marketing Council, has observed the many changes in the field of luxury for more than twenty years. His expert opinion is shared by many
"As the disparity between 'the have' and 'the have nots' continues to widen, public, government and media scrutiny are increasingly critical, and all luxury brands' involvement in the community will dramatically increase. More than ever luxury brands must be involved, and seen as being involved, as outstanding corporate citizens; not as disengaged, haughty, removed purveyors of luxury products and services to the elite one percent with no concern for the bigger picture and larger community. As never before it is imperative for luxury brands to more tastefully and aggressively promote their involvement in the arts. Creativity and bottom-line-driven understanding are essential to maintaining and enhancing
the luxury brand's reputation."

It is said that beautiful objects in art, in design, in furniture, in fashion, in poetry are all an extension of the human spirit's need and search for beauty. Art takes us through the tunnel of life to lightness and joy. The patronage of the arts also fulfill the dreams on every level of life and it is significant now and for future generations. The strong reputation and joint goals of art and business have gone through periods of challenge and growth. Artistic disciplines combined with business acumen address the complex and ever-changing needs of building robust arts and business communities with ever greater success.

" I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few or freedom for a few" ~ William Morris (English artist, poet 1834-1896)