Bayer has been committed to the fine arts for more than 100 years. Today the company has a comprehensive collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures from the 20th and 21st centuries.
The foundation stone for the Bayer Art Collection was laid by Dr. Carl Duisberg, the company's first general director. He was particularly keen to link the fine arts with the working world. In 1912 he commissioned a collection of "coloured stone drawings" for the furnishing of work and recreation rooms at the Leverkusen works. The idea of "art at work" was born!
Today the company owns a total of 5,500 works, of which 2000 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by renowned 20th century artists belong to the Bayer Collection: Works by internationally renowned painters and sculptors such as Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, Ernst-Wilhelm Nay, Ernst Barlach, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Gerhard Richter are just as much a part of the collection as works commissioned by the company or works which are of importance to the company's history. A main focus is on Classical Modernism with outstanding works by the German Expressionists and the École de Paris. Furthermore, the artists of the German Informel are represented as well as important positions of the 1970s. In the late 1970s and 1980s Bayer also awarded working scholarships to artists working with Bayer materials and supported an "artist in residence" programme. From the 1980s and 1990s, the company owns works by renowned German painters such as Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen and Gerhard Richter. The art collection is managed by Bayer Arts & Culture (Art Department, Andrea Peters). The aim is to complement the collection with new acquisitions and to expand the holdings with works by young artists.
The visual arts are an integral part of Bayer's corporate culture. The Group consciously places its art collection at the service of its employees and relies on the unbiased encounter between people and art within the working world. While the Bayer Collection is located and visible in the prestigious premises of the Group headquarters, other works of art owned by the company are available to all employees in the "Bayer Artothek" to furnish their offices and conference rooms. In addition to lending, the Artothek also offers the possibility of obtaining information about the artists and their works. The "Bayer-Artothek" offer is used by many employees. The principle of "Art in the Workplace" is brought to life and reaches a large number of viewers: the employees, customers and visitors of Bayer AG - people of the most diverse interests and cultures. In contrast to exhibitions with visual art, here the art comes to the viewer, sharpens perception and positively shapes the atmosphere at the workplace.