king & scholar
Many universities have large, underutilized collections of original artwork (acquired over the years or bequeathed to them by alumni) which they must maintain at growing expense. One Ivy University interviewed claims to have over 10,000 original pieces of art permanently archived in 'dark storage'. In contrast, many companies would like to differentiate and beautify their work environment with original art, but can't justify the expense of acquiring a corproate art collection or running a corporate art program.
king & scholar is the concept for a digital art lending platform that connects universities with original artwork to companies looking for art. Universities create profiles of their artwork (including photos, art history etc.) and specify a rental price, rental term and display restrictions (e.g., no direct sunlight). Renters (employees) browse artwork using a range of criteria (e.g., style, dimensions, artist) and select pieces to rent. king & scholar is responsible for end-to-end fulfillment of the rental agreement – collecting the piece, delivering it, hanging it and returning it at the end of the rental term.
king & scholar benefits each counterparty: universities receive rental income from their archived artwork (and unlock the value of a dormant asset), while companies get high quality artwork (without the acquisition costs or maintenance hassles).
Precedent for art-rental programs exist on a small scale at regional art museums (e.g., DeCordova Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario). While several Fortune 500 companies have Corporate Art Collections (e.g., Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Fidelity, Pfizer).
Professor Gary King (Harvard)
Representatives from corporate art programs at Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan and TD Bank.