Helaba Frankfurt

How to put together a collection

From traditional regional bank to international financial institution with a cultural identity – since 1995, Helaba Bank has been building up an international art collection at all of its branches worldwide.

To this end, an overarching philosophy for the bank’s collection – with a unifying theme for its whole cultural engagement strategy – was designed and implemented. The resulting collection featured ground-breaking young contemporary artists, with a particular emphasis on the Frankfurt art scene.

A pioneering collection of contemporary art was put together in close cooperation with the executive board, including a number of specially commissioned works in situ and over 2000 works in total. We were involved in managing the entire collection as well as restoration and conservation work, database development, budget planning and responsibility, art education, art events, press and PR.

Helaba’s special relationship with contemporary art is clear from the many specially commissioned works that were produced for the MAIN TOWER. Many of them are directly related to their architectural context. They include the video installation ‘The World of Appearances’ by the American artist Bill Viola, and the wall mosaic ‘Frankfurter Treppe’ [Frankfurt Staircase] by Stefan Huber. Both works are on display in the foyer, which is open to the public.


Artists: Bill Viola, Stephan Huber, Franz Ackermann, Paul Morrison, Claudia and Julia Müller, Bernhard Martin and Martin Neumaier.
Location: Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen [Helaba Bank], Neue Mainzer Str. 52-58, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, and the bank’s branches in Erfurt, Madrid, London, Luxemburg, Dublin, Paris and New York
Duration: 1995 – 2003
Illustration: Auftragsarbeiten Martin Neumaier und Franz Ackermann
Photos: Wolfgang Günzel