Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Crosscurrents: American and European Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
March 4 - December 31, 2008
Sponsor: Siemens

From the exhibition "sponsor statement" by Siemens
"...Exhibited alongside each other are works by many of the most accomplished and recognizable painters in the history of art, including Gilbert Stuart, J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, and Francisco de Goya. Other renowned works are by John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler, artists who themselves transcend the Atlantic divide, much as Siemens has for 160 years.

At Siemens, we share with these masters the spirit of independence and the ability to look at things with a fresh perspective. We create, and we innovate. Every day, our colleagues in 190 countries across the globe strive to devise new technologies to improve business and society. One bold vision deserves another, and we salute these artists for theirs..."

About Siemens

"Preceding World War II Siemens was involved in the secret rearmament of Germany. During the Second World War, Siemens supported the Hitler regime, contributed to the war effort and participated in the "Nazification" of the economy. Siemens had many factories in and around notorious extermination camps such as Auschwitz and used slave labor from concentration camps to build electric switches for military uses. In one example, almost 100,000 men and women from Auschwitz worked in a Siemens factory inside the camp, supplying the electricity to the camp.[6]. The Crematorium ovens at Buchenwald still bear the Siemens name."
from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_AG

Siemens provides technologies vital to militaries around the world, including the United States. In recent years, Siemens has been investigated and charged with bribing military and other government officials in several countries in attempts to win no bid contracts. In 2007, Norway's military blacklisted the German based Siemens AG group from future defense assignments after the company knowingly overcharged it millions of kroner between 2000 and 2005.