Deserving of special recognition
Bank of America Merrill Lynch won the Judges’ Special Recognition Award in this year’s Allianz Business to Arts Awards for it impressive contribution to supporting Irish arts
Winner of the Judges' Special Recognition Award this year in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards, Bank of America Merrill Lynch began operations in Ireland in 1968 and is committed to supporting the country's artistic heritage.
Through the provision of grants, sponsorships and loans, it provides support across all art forms, focusing on programmes that generate greater cultural understanding. It has been awarded the special recognition title for its collaborations with the National Gallery of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library, IMMA and the 'New Stream' programme run by Business to Arts.
"Through our Art in our Communities programme, we have loaned more than 50 exhibitions, free of charge, to museums around the world. It is through this programme that we have loaned 'The Art Books of Henri Matisse' to the Chester Beatty Library," says Peter Keegan, Ireland country executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The unique Bank of America Art Conservation Project, which was launched last year, funds the conservation of culturally or historically significant artworks across the globe, he continues.
"Among last year's grant recipients was the National Gallery of Ireland, which received funding to restore Daniel Maclise's The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife. "In these economically challenged times, and as art conservation consumes greater portions of tightened museum budgets, we know that private funding is more important than ever. This is why we are honoured to have helped preserve a work of art that is so culturally significant to Ireland, a country in which we have done business for more than 40 years." Meanwhile the bank's support for New Stream stems from its commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates. "As a corporate supporter of the arts, we recognise the need to build capacity in Ireland's arts sector and help it develop new income streams beyond public subsidy," says Keegan.
Regarding IMMA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch chose to support the Lynda Benglis exhibition in the recognition that it would transcend cultural boundaries and strengthen links between American and European culture. "It also allowed us to loan two of Benglis' artworks from our corporate collection. One of these sculptures, Caelum (1986), has since been presented to IMMA for permanent display in its galleries," Keegan concludes.