The Progressive Art Collection began in 1974 as a works-on-paper collection intended to beautify our Cleveland headquarters. In 1985, Progressive’s art acquisition philosophy evolved to include emerging artists working in a variety of media whose creativity and innovation reflected these same qualities in the company’s business vision. In that same year, Progressive established the Corporate Art Department, a full-time staff dedicated to the growth, management, and interpretation of the art collection. Today, the collection includes more than 7,500 artworks displayed in Progressive offices countrywide. For nearly 40 years, art at Progressive has continued to provoke and foster passionate discussion among our people.
Words from Our Founders
Peter B. Lewis on the founding of the Progressive Art Collection:
"I wanted to hang modestly priced art made by contemporaries of Progressive’s wonderful young people on the walls of the offices. It would be a creative and economical way to make the space pleasing and interesting for the people working in it, communicate our respect for creativity, and support the careers of excellent young artists. This ambition was an extension of the philosophy that governed the building of Progressive—doing things differently in part just because they were different, challenging Progressive people to think 'outside the box,' and making it enjoyable to come to work."
Toby Devan Lewis on the philosophy of the Progressive Art Collection:
“My main goal was to put together one of the best corporate contemporary art collection in the country. My objective was to challenge our natural inclination to be inflexible in the face of an every-growing need to be open to new ideas and alternative perspectives. Art on the walls became a symbol of Progressive’s commitment to change. I never expected to get all of the people to like the art, but rather to engage everyone in a dialogue about ideas and transformation. I began to understand the role that art could play in humanizing the workplace, stimulating productivity, and reflecting the vitality of the company.”