Bailed-out Bank of America shares art collection with communities

  • May 18, 2010 17:07

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N.C. Wyeth, Eight Bells, 1937. Bank of America Collection.

Bank of America (BofA), the recipient of $45 billion in taxpayer-funded government bailouts, has been loaning works from its corporate collection to dozens of art museums worldwide since 2007.

Charlotte, North Carolina's Mint Museum of Art will be exhibiting 60 of the bank's major American contemporary artworks in a $60 million new building beginning October 1.

The scope and value of the BofA's collection has not been disclosed.

A few of the highlights scheduled for the Mint are Frank Stella's "Damascus Gate," Ed Ruscha's "Clock Speed," and works by San Francisco-associated artists Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn.

Also, coming up is the bank's exhibit on the Wyeth family of artists opening next month at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London (image shown).

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts will show "Reverberations: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Bank of America Collection," beginning June 28.

"We get great public relations out of it," Allen Blevins, senior vice president and director of the bank's corporate art program, told the Charlotte Observer of the exhibtions. The bank covers the costs of setting up the exhibitions.

Last year, after its staggering bailout at 45.5 billion pounds, the Royal Bank of Scotland, now 70% owned by the state, was pressured to share its 2,200 artworks with the public and mark some for sale.

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