Sponsorship of the arts rose in Europe last year, according to figures supplied to The Art Newspaper by CEREC (European Committee for Business, Arts and Culture). Recorded sponsorship reached £720m ($1.152bn). This sum excludes Denmark, Portugal, Spain and the Wallonia region of Belgium, as well as non-CEREC European countries and therefore the total for the continent must have approached £1bn. These figures refer to all art forms, including music, dance and theatre, with the visual arts representing around 15% of the total.
Comparison of nationally compiled statistics is difficult, but the data supplied by Brussels-based CEREC shows that sponsorship is highest in Germany, followed by Italy, France and the UK.
Separate figures for the US are compiled by the New York group Business Committee for the Arts, which reports that US corporate support for the arts in 1994 was $875m (£547m), not too far behind the CEREC total.
The upward trend in art sponsorship can be monitored through statistics for Britain. According to the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts (ABSA), the UK total rose from £57m ($91m) in 1991 to £83m ($133m) last year. ABSA also recently announced this year’s Financial Times/ABSA awards “Oscars for Sponsors”. The winners which backed the visual arts were CDT Design (sponsor of the Tate’s Art Now gallery space), Glaxo Wellcome (sponsor of the Spanish still life exhibition at the National Gallery) and Choice FM radio (sponsor of the photographic show “Self Evident” at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery.
• Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper under the headline "The Generous Germans"