Although both Citibank and Johnson & Johnson have loaned art to public museums, the majority of their collections remain integral parts of office buildings and are rarely seen by the public. Both companies have acquired photographs since the beginning of their respective art programs in the 1960s. Though the exhibition reflects the specific interests of each corporate collection, the combined selections provide excellent examples of key aspects of the history of photography. Included are artists who have expanded the definition of photography, and those who work within the traditional parameters of the medium.
The Citibank collection includes pieces ranging from the early years of photography through contemporary work. The shifting relationship between art and science is one aspect of the collection, expressed through photographs by Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and others. A variety of artistic viewpoints from the landscapes of Aaron Siskind, Mark Klett and Richard Misrach, to the unique visions of Duane Michaels and Romare Bearden are also presented.
The Johnson & Johnson collection includes strictly twentieth century photographs. The corporation's interest in New Jersey artists and images is conveyed through a range of historic and contemporary photographers including Ester Bubley, Jan Staller and Wendel White. Another aspect of the collection reflects the nature of the company's business, with images of mothers, fathers and children by Judith Taylor, Elliot Erwitt and Andrea Modica . Providing a contrast to traditional photographic approaches, the collection also includes examples of alternative process images from photographers such as Geanna Merola and José Louis Avila.
The exhibit was organized by art curators at Citibank and Johnson & Johnson and is being circulated by the Gallery Association of New York State.