Bank of America Art Auctions Raise Over $1 Million for San Francisco General Hospital

Jun 25, 2013

Art enriches people’s lives. And after recent auctions in New York and San Francisco, art may help improve the quality of lives in the Bay Area, too.

Bank of America on June 5 auctioned several pieces of art by Bay Area artists from its corporate collection to raise funds and awareness for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

Proceeds from the auction will enable San Francisco General Hospital, the city’s busiest emergency room and only trauma center, to continue its life-saving work. Funds were combined with money raised at a May event at Sotheby’s in New York, bringing the total donation to $1,122,500.

Since 2008, Bank of America has turned its art collection into a community resource through the Art in our Communities program. The program allows museums and nonprofit galleries to borrow complete exhibitions from the collection at no cost. The company has also donated selected works to benefit its nonprofit partners over the years. But the San Francisco and New York events represent the first time that Bank of America has auctioned art works in order to provide direct financial support to a community organization. The new art program reflects the bank’s commitment to uncovering opportunities to deepen connections with the communities where it does business.

Two hundred people came out to support the auction at the Ferry Building, including San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. Larry and Pam Baer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Board Vice President respectively, were also in attendance.

“Our commitment to constantly seek new ways to connect with and empower our communities inspired the decision to host an auction and donate notable works by local artists to be sold with the proceeds benefiting San Francisco General Hospital, a vital institution for the city,” said Martin Richards, San Francisco Market President for Bank of America.

Richards was joined at the event by Bank of America’s Anne Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, and Janet Lamkin, California Market President.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Director Neal Benezra spoke about the importance of the featured artists and their connection to California. The works auctioned included “Study for Parks” by James Weeks (1963), “Dutch Still Life With Primrose” by Paul Wonner (1979), “Number 48” by Elmer Bischoff (1970), “Violin” by Deborah Oropallo (1985), “Palm Ridge from Recent Etchings II” by Wayne Thiebaud Etchings II (1979) and “Two Way II” by Richard Diebenkorn (1982).

In addition to the auction, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has also supported the hospital’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program, a unique program that provides low-income mental health and traumatic injury patients with vocational training opportunities in a supportive environment. 

“We were honored to be the beneficiary of this unique fundraising effort,” said Stephanie Bray, Executive Director of San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. “Thanks to Bank of America’s leadership, the funds raised through these auctions will help ensure that San Francisco has a truly world-class hospital that saves lives, serves the communities in need and improves medicine across the globe.”

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