The Alpha Bank Art Collection
The Alpha Bank Art Collection is one of the most important collections held by banks and institutions in Greece. It boasts 5,500 works by Greek artists: paintings, prints, sculptures, assemblages, illustrations, etc. These pieces cover Greek artworks from 1880 to date. The Collection hosts temporary exhibitions, while also making a significant contribution to culture and education.
A rich collection
The Alpha Bank Art Collection boasts 5,500 works of Greek artists, representing modern-Greek art: paintings, prints, sculptures, assemblages, etc.
The Collection is a member of the International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art (ΙACCCA). It has been featured in the publication Global Corporate Collections, 2015, among the 80 most important corporate collections in the world.
A journey through Greek art
The works in the Alpha Bank Art Collection mark the course of modern-Greek art through its periods:
- The Munich School era (1880-1910).
- The interwar years (1920-1940).
- Modern art after 1960.
The collection of modern-Greek prints is particularly impressive. It features prints, albums and illustrated books from the early 20th century, as well as graphic art.
Exceptionally, the Collection also carries works by foreign artists with Greek themes. As such, it boasts a significant portfolio of sightseeing maps and prints by foreign artists themed after Greece (16th-19th century).
A home forever
The exhibits of the Art Collection are kept at the Alpha Bank central building.
There is no exhibition space per se. However, the doors to the Collection are always open to researchers, students, scientists and the general public who wish to become acquainted with its works.
Some of those works are permanently on display at the Group branches and companies in Greece and abroad.
In 2005 the first exhibition of the Alpha Bank Art Collection was held at the Benaki Museum, titled “The Alpha Bank Collection. Paintings-Prints-Sculptures”. It was an opportunity for the Collection to present some of its most representative works of art.
Collaborations and exhibitions at the largest museums in Greece followed: MOMus – Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts, Thessaloniki, Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa G.I. Katsigras Museum, Contemporary Art Museum of Crete, etc.
Contributing to culture and education
The Alpha Bank Art Collection has significant cultural and educational activity, including:
- Forging partnerships with important cultural institutions and museums.
- Lending works of art for exhibition purposes.
- Hosting educational programmes for primary and secondary education at the Alpha Bank Cultural Centre in Nafplio.
Moreover, it edits publications related to the featured works and artists. It also participates in exhibitions, events and sponsorships related to Greek art.
A vision takes shape
In the mid-1960s, the Commercial Credit Bank, ran by Spyros I. Kostopoulos, decided to feature works by Greek artists in its branches.
A little while later, the bank – which in the meantime had been named Credit Bank, ran by the late Yiannis Kostopoulos – decided to commission a work of art by a Greek artist for every new branch it opened. The rapid growth of Credit Bank in the years that followed led to the fast creation of an Art Collection, mainly focused on contemporary art.
Ionian Bank, which had merged with Laiki Bank in 1957, had amassed a portfolio of prints resembling a museum collection.
In 2000, with the creation of Alpha Bank, the collections of the 2 banks came together as one: the collection of Credit Bank, which had been named Alpha Credit Bank, and the collection of Ionian Bank.
The expanded Collection was further enriched with the merger of Emporiki Bank in 2013. Emporiki Bank held a considerable number of works by folk painter Theophilos. In 2014 the Citibank Collection was also added to the Alpha Bank Art Collection.
News and activities of the Art Collection
The Art Collection at the annual IACCCA meeting
The Alpha Bank Art Collection participated in the IACCCA Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) in Athens and Delphi.
The Art Collection participates in retrospective exhibition for Yannis Gaitis
An exhibition on the oeuvre of the great Greek painter at the Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki.
The Art Collection at the exhibition for Michalis Economou
The Alpha Bank Art Collection loaned 3 works of art by Michalis Economou for the major retrospective exhibition in Metsovo.
Exhibition with works by painter Eurydice Costopoulos
The exhibition with works by painter Eurydice Costopoulos includes rich artwork by this unique female Greek artist.