Of course such decorations on a Buyer's desk are the 'image' they wish to portray to the outside world but this is useful information nonetheless.
Photographs on the buyer's desk often display their literal creativity - photos of their spouse and they myriad of progeny ( children), or their hobby - sports etc. Many have a creative screen saver or even a decorative mouse mat.
In the wealthy finance world - merchant banks and the like might well have an original art piece on their office walls or in reception. It tells us perhaps a little more about the client's culture, personality . motivation, priorities possibly even their sense of humour. Such art may even act , when appropriate, as an ice breaker to opening conversations.
Likewise a buyer's radar will pick up on our screen saver desktop on our laptop when we present - it is all part of our appearance.
Sometimes we may enter offices with no decoration at all.
"Clean desk" policies rule , the banning of personal waste paper baskets in one of the nation's big four accountancy firms tell us of the current management style in vogue from their swanky HQ on the Thames embankment to all their regional offices through the kingdom- all useful information.
Bare walls, the dearth of plants in a work environment perhaps might also indicate the prevailing management culture.
Just think of the stark set of Lord Sugar's board room on the BBC Apprentice programme - itself reminiscent of the painting "When did you last see your father ?" by WF Yeames which shows a Royalist family who have been captured by the enemy. The boy is being questioned about the whereabouts of his father by a panel of Parliamentarians some in their puritan hats. An allegory for a sales beauty parade perhaps?! ( This painting I think is in a collection in Liverpool)
"At Work" is a selection from UK embassies and government departments now on public display at the Whitechapel gallery that showcases the diverse nature of the Collection, its 400 locations and function. Embassies would display their art to impress or intimidate visitors.
This exhibition is supported Hiscox whose city offices I have visited has an amazing collection of art many of the investments are kept in safe keeping on behalf of clients. They also advertise their insurance service on TV.
Of the 27 or so works of Art on show in Gallery 7 my favourite was Derek Boshier’s 1962 contribution to British Pop Art, "I Wonder What My Heroes Think of the Space Race" – previously installed at the British Embassy in Moscow is very thought provoking.( seek out Buddy Holly!)
The exhibition is curated by the Government Art Collection in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. One of the selectors was Lord Mandelson. What pictures did he as the minister for the country's buyers and sellers choose to have on his office walls?
Just under ten years ago Arts & Business released the results of a MORI commissioned survey. The research investigated attitudes towards the Art's and their effect on the working behaviours among business leaders and the general public.
53% of the workers surveyed felt that if their employer were to provide opportunities to enjoy artistic activities they would be motivated in their work.
95% of business owners surveyed said they felt that motivation is 'essential' or 'very important' in directly driving company performance.
A survey carried out by ICM and Art & Business found that 73% of employees wanted more art in the workplace, claiming it made them feel more 'motivated' and 'inspired.'
In the 1960's TV series Police 5 a forerunner of BBC's "Crimewatch" appealed for the help of the public to solve crimes often for stolen artworks as it happened. The host Shaw Taylor's catchphrase was "keep 'em peeled".