American Express Backs Emerging Artists with $1 Million in Sponsorship to The Studio Museum in Harlem

by Savoy Staff

(L-R) Rafael Mason, Julie Mehretu, Kehinde Wiley and Thelma Golden (Photo: Getty Images for American Express)

American Express taps Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley to reimagine the U.S. Platinum Card® design

American Express has announced artistic collaborations with world-renowned artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley to reimagine and create new designs of the iconic Consumer Platinum Card. The company will also provide $1 million in sponsorship to The Studio Museum in Harlem (the Studio Museum) to support its work as the nexus for artists of African descent, locally, nationally, and internationally. Early in their careers, both Mehretu and Wiley participated in the Studio Museum’s prestigious Artists-in-Residence (AIR) program.

Mehretu, a renowned artist whose work was featured in a high-profile mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art earlier this year, and Wiley, a visionary portrait painter known for his distinct, vibrant botanical backgrounds, will each bring their unique point-of-view to the U.S. Consumer Platinum Card design. The Platinum x Julie Mehretu and Platinum x Kehinde Wiley designs will be unveiled in Miami on December 1, and beginning January 20, 2022, Card Members can choose from the two design options as well as the existing Platinum Card design. This announcement follows the recently refreshed U.S. Consumer Platinum Card, which provides Card Members with new lifestyle benefits and experiences.

“We are humbled to collaborate with two of the most celebrated artists of our time – Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley – to reimagine the Platinum Card design,” said Rafael Mason, Senior Vice President, US Premium Products and Loyalty Programs at American Express. “We can’t wait to give our Card Members the opportunity to choose their favorite Platinum Card design – including small-scale artistic masterpieces they can now carry around in their wallets. We are also delighted to partner with the Studio Museum, which has had such a profound impact on the art world and on the artists who have participated in its residence program.”

Established soon after the Studio Museum’s founding in 1968, the institution’s signature AIR program, which was envisioned by the artist William T. Williams, has advanced the work of nearly 150 artists to date, many of whom have gone on to highly regarded careers.

“There is great potential in this collaboration with American Express,” said Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. “American Express doesn’t just bring funding, it shines a light on the important work being done at our institution. We’re deeply grateful to the incredible artists who have come through our doors, such as Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley, and who continue to inspire generations of emerging artists at the Studio Museum.”

In October 2020, American Express committed $1 billion to promote racial, ethnic and gender equity for colleagues, customers and communities. American Express recently announced the creation of new artist-designed merchant signage that lets customers know they’re “Always Welcome.” These latest artist partnerships align with the company’s ongoing efforts to support inclusivity and equity with customers and communities.

For more information about the Consumer Platinum Card, visit


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