Bank of America supports community of gallerists and collectors at TEFAF New York
Each Spring, the art collecting community turns out in force for TEFAF New York, which returns to the Park Avenue Armory on May 11th. Art enthusiasts and collectors are living in interesting times: The art world is expanding exponentially from creation to criticism to curation. Older movements and overlooked artists and themes are getting another look through a modern, diverse lens. The current vanguard of artists is more representative of the world’s lived experience across race and gender diversity, and the artworks themselves continue to evolve, leveraging developments in technology and socialized trends. It is a lot to take in, especially for a new or even seasoned collector.
Art fairs are an abundant resource for aficionados, but few are as valuable as TEFAF New York—that is why Bank of America is proud to sponsor this event. The combination of top-flight galleries, the fair’s rigorous vetting process, educational panel discussions, and informal opportunities to connect with the bank’s Art Services team makes TEFAF New York the ideal platform for collectors of all tastes and experience levels.
Much like the art being created or elevated to new prominence, the art community is becoming younger and more diverse than in previous decades according to the 2022 Bank of America Private Bank Study of Wealthy Americans. The study, which set out to explore shifting generational attitudes toward investing, estate planning, and philanthropy amid the historic transfer of wealth from baby boomers to Generation X and millennials, uncovered interesting insights into art collecting. One key finding is that 83% of people 21–42 years of age bought art in the last 12 months compared to 23% of their counterparts over 43. Across age cohorts, 63% collect for aesthetic value, while 47% do so as an investment. The next generation of collectors is dynamic, actively pursuing work from Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, women, and LGBTQ+ artists. They are driving diversity in the marketplace and more likely to consider donating or selling works in future. The strong interest of young collectors in buying art and fluidity in holding it have important implications for the market, the collector, and their advisors.
“There is no one approach for collecting. It is a highly personal and idiosyncratic process,” said Drew Watson, SVP and Head of Art Services for Bank of America. While “buy what you like” and “buy what you can afford” are solid starting points, the vast options for collecting, from fine art to digital art and NFTs, to design and luxury, ultimately requires a strategy to manage choices. In conversation with Watson at last year’s TEFAF New York, Josh Tanzer, art collector and managing director of Principia Growth, shared that his journey as a collector began with black and white photography, and quickly pivoted to Pop Art before moving on to Abstract Expressionism and contemporary art. The journey is an important part of the collector’s joy, but such pivots and evolutions are best supported by the expertise of advisors who can help unlock the equity in collected works or navigate the tax implications of a sale or donation.
Record-setting sales of art make headlines and create a transactional view of art collecting, which can be intimidating for many. The truth is that the world of creating, curating, and collecting may have a daunting level of nuance for participation, but connections within the community are the answer. Watson recommends to “cultivate a trusted circle of advisors.” Fairs like TEFAF are an excellent place to make a start cultivating relationships with dealers, advisors, curators, and even other collectors who can help inform one’s vision for a collection, define a collecting strategy, and avoid buying into hype.
Bank of America is the premier bank for the art world, supporting collectors, institutions, artists, foundations, and more. The breadth of our art services is why we are passionate about partnering with TEFAF New York to sponsor this important fair and exhibit a part of our corporate collection.
Senior Vice President and Head of Art Services Drew Watson on Challenges, Opportunities, Trends, and TEFAF
Why is Bank of America committed to sponsoring TEFAF New York?
We believe that investing in the art ecosystem makes communities thrive: engagement around art creates a discussion that causes us to question our assumptions and breaks down traditional barriers. TEFAF New York is a fair that sets the global standard in creating a thoughtful and transparent forum for art, collecting, and exchange in the global art world’s capital.
What challenges, opportunities, or trends do you foresee in the art world in the coming year?
We will continue to see collectors placing importance on the narrative surrounding works of art they collect, be it related to provenance, the artist’s personal narrative, or the narrative that the works themselves convey. Despite macroeconomic headwinds, collectors will also increasingly consider the financial dimension of their collections as they consider their art as a part of their financial life and a practical source of capital, whether using an art loan or negotiating deal structures at auction, and how it functions as an asset class. Lastly, sustainability will be a major driver as the art world grapples with technological innovation, social justice, and environmental impact.
You have recently been named to TEFAF’s Global Advisory Board. What personal contribution are you excited to bring to this role?
I’m excited to join the Global Advisory Board of TEFAF because it’s an organization that fosters intellectual discovery and a love of art across time periods, collecting categories, and stylistic movements while bringing increased transparency and confidence to the market through its rigorous vetting process. I’m looking forward to helping TEFAF navigate the opportunities and challenges of the current market, and especially, to helping the fair grow by engaging new audiences outside its traditional core collector base.
Brian Siegel, Global Arts, Culture & Heritage Executive on Bank of America’s Drive Towards Promoting Cultural Sustainability
Why does Bank of America invest in arts and culture?
We believe that investments in arts and culture help to build communities and in turn have a positive impact on the lives of our clients and employees. We support a wide range of local and global nonprofit organizations with funding and programming to drive engagement, promote cultural sustainability and make the arts more accessible and inclusive in the communities we serve.
How long has Bank of America been making Conservation Project grants?
We have awarded grants each year since 2010 with the exception of 2011 and 2020. Including the grants we announced in April, we have funded more than 225 projects in 40 countries.
Do you have a favorite project or one you are particularly proud to have supported?
That’s like asking if you have a favorite child; I think all the projects are unique in their own way. Some are considered to be among the most important works of art in the world like Van Gogh’s The Starry Night at MoMA or the Apollo Belvedere at The Vatican. Others are important cultural treasures like the Assyrian Reliefs at the Brooklyn Museum or the selection of paintings at Le Centre d’Art in Haiti that were damaged by the 2010 earthquake. And others are works that are of utmost importance to the individual institutions like Gardner Hale’s The Triumph of Washington at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Bank of America provides support for cultural heritage rescue projects in addition to Conservation grants, correct?
Correct. Since 2018, we have been the sole corporate supporter of the Smithsonian’s Culture Rescue Initiative which helps to save and protect cultural treasures that are in danger of being destroyed by armed conflicts or natural disasters. The SCRI program is part of our broader support for the Smithsonian Institution which includes funding for individual Smithsonian museums such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Latino, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of Asian Art and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. In addition, we have supported several conservation projects at the Smithsonian as well as the Our Shared Future: Reckoning with our Racial Past initiative.