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For other uses, see Patronage (disambiguation).
"Patron" redirects here. For other uses, see Patron (disambiguation).
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an
organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts
patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to
artists such as musicians, painters, and sculptors. It can also refer to the right
of bestowing offices or church benefices, the business given to a store by a
regular customer, and the guardianship of saints. The word "patron" derives from
the Latin: patronus ("patron"), one who gives benefits to his clients (see
Patronage in ancient Rome).

In some countries the term is used to describe political patronage, which is the
use of state resources to reward individuals for their electoral support. Some
patronage systems are legal, as in the Canadian tradition of the Prime Minister to
appoint senators and the heads of a number of commissions and agencies; in many
cases, these appointments go to people who have supported the political party of
the Prime Minister. As well, the term may refer to a type of corruption or
favoritism in which a party in power rewards groups, families, ethnicities for
their electoral support using illegal gifts or fraudulently awarded appointments or
government contracts.[1]

1 Arts
2 Charity
3 Commercial
4 Ecclesiastical
4.1 Anglican
4.2 Catholic
4.2.1 Patronage of Our Lady
4.3 Presbyterian
5 Journalism
6 Politics
6.1 Philippines
6.2 Russia
6.3 South Africa
6.4 United States
6.5 Venezuela
7 Science
8 Sports
9 See also
10 References
11 Further reading
12 External links
From the ancient world onward, patronage of the arts was important in art history.
It is known in greatest detail in reference to medieval and Renaissance Europe,
though patronage can also be traced in feudal Japan, the traditional Southeast
Asian kingdoms, and elsewhere�art patronage tended to arise wherever a royal or
imperial system and an aristocracy dominated a society and controlled a significant
share of resources. Samuel Johnson defined a patron as "one who looks with
unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached
ground, encumbers him with help".[2]

Rulers, nobles and very wealthy people used patronage of the arts to endorse their
political ambitions, social positions, and prestige. That is, patrons operated as
sponsors. Most languages other than English still use the term mecenate, derived
from the name of Gaius Maecenas, generous friend and adviser to the Roman Emperor
Augustus. Some patrons, such as the Medici of Florence, used artistic patronage to
"cleanse" wealth that was perceived as ill-gotten through usury. Art patronage was
especially important in the creation of religious art. The Roman Catholic Church
and later Protestant groups sponsored art and architecture, as seen in churches,
cathedrals, painting, sculpture and handicrafts.

While sponsorship of artists and the commissioning of artwork is the best-known

aspect of the patronage system, other disciplines also benefited from patronage,
including those who studied natural philosophy (pre-modern science), musicians,
writers, philosophers, alchemists, astrologers, and other scholars. Artists as
diverse and important as Chr�tien de Troyes, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo,
William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all sought and enjoyed the support of noble or
ecclesiastical patrons.[3][4] Figures as late as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig
van Beethoven also participated in the system to some degree; it was only with the
rise of bourgeois and capitalist social forms in the middle 19th century that
European culture moved away from its patronage system to the more publicly
supported system of museums, theaters, mass audiences and mass consumption that is
familiar in the contemporary world.

This kind of system continues across many fields of the arts. Though the nature of
the sponsors has changed�from churches to charitable foundations, and from
aristocrats to plutocrats�the term patronage has a more neutral connotation than in
politics. It may simply refer to direct support (often financial) of an artist, for
example by grants. In the latter part of the 20th century, the academic sub-
discipline of patronage studies began to evolve, in recognition of the important
and often neglected role that the phenomenon of patronage had played in the
cultural life of previous centuries.

Charitable and other non-profit making organisations often seek an influential
figurehead to act as patron. The relationship often does not involve money. As well
as conferring credibility, these people can use their contacts and charisma to
assist the organisation to raise funds or to affect government policy. The British
Royal Family are especially prolific in this respect, devoting a large proportion
of their time to a wide range of causes.[5]

Sometimes consumers support smaller or local businesses or corporations out of
loyalty even if less expensive options exist. Their regular custom is referred to
as 'patronage'. Patronage may entitle members of a cooperative to a share of the
surplus or profit generated by the co-op, called a patronage refund. This refund is
a form of dividend.

See main article Parish
In the Church of England, patronage is the commonly used term for the right to
present a candidate to a benefice.

Main articles: ius patronatus and Cardinal nephew
Patronage of Our Lady
The liturgical feast of the Patronage of Our Lady was first permitted by Decree of
the Sacred Congregation of Rites on 6 May 1679, for all the ecclesiastical
provinces of Spain, in memory of the victories obtained over the Saracens, heretics
and other enemies from the sixth century to the reign of Philip IV of Spain. Pope
Benedict XII ordered it to be kept in the Papal States on the third Sunday of
November. To other places it is granted, on request, for some Sunday in November,
to be designated by the ordinary. In many places the feast of the Patronage is held
with an additional Marian title of Queen of All Saints, of Mercy, Mother of Graces.
The Office is taken entirely from the Common of the Blessed Virgin, and the Mass is
the "Salve sancta parens".[6]

The Church Patronage (Scotland) Act 1711, (in force until 1874) resulted in
multiple secessions from the Church of Scotland, including the secession of 1733,
which led to the formation of the Associate Presbytery, the secession of 1761,
which led to the formation of the Relief Church, and the Disruption of 1843, which
led to the formation of the Free Church of Scotland.

While most news companies, particularly in North America are funded through
advertising revenue,[7] secondary funding sources include audience members and
philanthropists who donate to for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Political leaders have at their disposal a great deal of patronage, in the sense
that they make decisions on the appointment of officials inside and outside
government (for example on quangos in the UK). Patronage is therefore a recognized
power of the executive branch. In most countries the executive has the right to
make many appointments, some of which may be lucrative (see also sinecures). In
some democracies, high-level appointments are reviewed or approved by the
legislature (as in the advice and consent of the United States Senate); in other
countries, such as those using the Westminster system, this is not the case. Other
types of political patronage may violate the laws or ethics codes, such as when
political leaders engage in nepotism (hiring family members) and cronyism such as
fraudulently awarding non-competitive government contracts to friends or relatives
or pressuring the public service to hire an unqualified family member or friend.

Further information: Political machine, Pork barrel, and No-bid contract

Political patronage, also known as "Padrino System" also a slang call as balimbing
(starfruit), in the Philippines, has been the source of many controversies and
corruption. It has been an open secret that one cannot join the political arena of
the Philippines without mastery of the Padrino System. From the lowest Barangay
official, to the President of the Republic, it is expected that one gains political
debts and dispenses political favor to advance one's career or gain influence, if
not wealth.

After Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin's retirement from politics in March 1923
following a stroke, a power struggle began between Soviet Premier Alexei Rykov,
Pravda editor Nikolai Bukharin, Profintern leader Mikhail Tomsky, Red Army founder
Leon Trotsky, former Premier Lev Kamenev, Comintern leader Grigory Zinoviev, and
General Secretary Joseph Stalin. Stalin used patronage to appoint many Stalinist
delegates (such as Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Grigory Ordzhonikidze, and
Mikhail Kalinin) to the Party Politburo and Sovnarkom in order to sway the votes in
his favour, making Stalin the effective leader of the country by 1929.

South Africa
During 2012, the African National Congress (ANC) mayor of Beaufort West in the
Western Cape Province wrote a letter which openly and illegally solicited funds
from the Construction Education and Training Authority for the ANC's 2016 election
campaign. This episode, amongst many others including instances revolving around
president Jacob Zuma, revealed how the African National Congress as ruling
political party utilized patronage to reward supporters and strengthen the leading
faction of the party's control over governmental institutions.[8]

United States
Main article: Spoils system
In the United States during the Gilded Age, patronage became a controversial issue.
Tammany boss William M. Tweed was an American politician who ran what is considered
now to have been one of the most corrupt political machines in the country's
history. Tweed and his cronies ruled for a brief time with absolute power over the
city and state of New York. At the height of his influence, Tweed was the third-
largest landowner in New York City, a director of the Erie Railway, the Tenth
National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the
Metropolitan Hotel.[9] At times he was a member of the United States House of
Representatives, the New York City Board of Advisors, and the New York State
Senate. In 1873, Tweed was convicted for diverting between $40 million and $200
million of public monies.[10]

Six months after James Garfield became president in 1881, Charles J. Guiteau, a
disappointed office-seeker, assassinated him. To prevent further political violence
and to assuage public outrage, Congress passed the Pendleton Act in 1883, which set
up the Civil Service Commission. Henceforth, applicants for most federal government
jobs would have to pass an examination. Federal politicians' influence over
bureaucratic appointments waned, and patronage declined as a national political

Beginning in 1969, a Supreme Court case in Chicago, Michael L. Shakman v.

Democratic Organization of Cook County, occurred involving political patronage and
its constitutionality. Shakman claimed that much of the patronage going on in
Chicago politics was unlawful on the grounds of the first and fourteenth
amendments. Through a series of legal battle and negotiations, the two parties
agreed upon The Shakman Decrees. Under these decrees it was declared that the
employment status of most public employees could not be affected positively or
negatively based on political allegiance, with exceptions for politically inclined
positions. The case is still in negotiation today, as there are points yet to be

Political patronage is not always considered corrupt. In the United States, the
U.S. Constitution provides the president with the power to appoint individuals to
government positions. He or she also may appoint personal advisers without
congressional approval. Not surprisingly, these individuals tend to be supporters
of the president. Similarly, at the state and local levels, governors and mayors
retain appointments powers. Some scholars have argued that patronage may be used
for laudable purposes, such as the "recognition" of minority communities through
the appointment of their members to a high-profile positions. Bearfield has argued
that patronage be used for four general purposes: create or strengthen a political
organization; achieve democratic or egalitarian goals; bridge political divisions
and create coalitions; and to alter the existing patronage system.[14]

Main article: Boliburgues�a
Boliburgues�a is a term that was coined by journalist Juan Carlos Zapata in order
to "define the oligarchy that has developed under the protection of the Chavez
government".[15] During Hugo Ch�vez's tenure, he seized thousands of properties and
businesses while also reducing the footprint of foreign companies.[16] Venezuela's
economy was then largely state-run and was operated by military officers that had
their business and government affairs connected.[16] Senior fellow at the Brookings
Institution, Harold Trinkunas, stated that involving the military in business was
"a danger", with Trinkunas explaining that the Venezuelan military "has the
greatest ability to coerce people, into business like they have".[16] According to
Bloomberg Business, "[b]y showering contracts on former military officials and pro-
government business executives, Chavez put a new face on the system of patronage".

There are historical examples where the noble classes financed scientific pursuits.

Many Barmakids were patrons of the sciences, which greatly helped the propagation
of Indian science and scholarship from the neighbouring Academy of Gundishapur into
the Arabic world. They patronized scholars such as Gebir and Jabril ibn Bukhtishu.
They are also credited with the establishment of the first paper mill in Baghdad.
The power of the Barmakids in those times is reflected in The Book of One Thousand
and One Nights; the vizier Ja'far appears in several stories, as well as a tale
that gave rise to the expression "Barmecide feast".

We know of Yahya b Khalid al Barmaki (805) as a patron of physicians and,

specifically, of the translation of Hindu medical works into both Arabic and
Persian. In all likelihood however, his activity took place in the orbit of the
caliphal court in Iraq, where at the behest of Harun al Rashid (786 -809), such
books were translated into Arabic. Thus Khurasan and Transoxania were effectively
bypassed in this transfer of learning from India to Islam, even though, undeniably
the Barmakis cultural outlook owed something to their land of origin, northern
Afghanistan, and Yahya al Barmaki's interest in medicine may have derived from no
longer identifiable family tradition.[17]

In the same manner as commercial patronage, those who attend a sporting event may
be referred to as patrons, though the usage in much of the world is now considered
archaic�with some notable exceptions. Those who attend the Masters Tournament, one
of the four major championship of professional golf, are still traditionally
referred to as "patrons," largely at the insistence of the Augusta National Golf
Club. This insistence is occasionally made fun of by sportswriters and other media.
[18] In polo, a "patron" is a person who puts together a team by hiring one or more
professionals. The rest of the team may be amateurs, often including the patron
himself (or, increasingly, herself).

Also, people who attend hurling or Gaelic football games organised by the Gaelic
Athletic Association are referred to as patrons.[19][20]

See also
Angel investor
Benefactor (law)
Civil service reform (disambiguation)
Community-supported agriculture
Corporate social responsibility
For a recent study of political patronage in the People's Republic of China, see
Hillman, Ben. Patronage and Power: Local State Networks and Party-state Resilience
in Rural China Stanford University Press, 2014.
Quoted in Michael Rosenthal, Constable, London: Thames and Hudson, 1987, p. 203.
F. W. Kent et al., eds.,Patronage, Art, and Society in Renaissance Italy, Oxford,
Oxford University Press, 1987.
Cedric C. Brown, Patronage, Politics, and Literary traditions in England,
1558�1658, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 1993.
"British Monarchy website, London".
Mershman, Francis. "Feast of the Patronage of Our Lady." The Catholic Encyclopedia
Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 November 2016
"Pew: Impact Of Billionaire Funded Journalism Is Tiny". Silicon Valley Watcher.
March 2014.
"Power, patronage and gatekeeper politics in the time of Truman Prince". Daily
Maverick. Johannesburg. 3 February 2016.
Ackerman, Kenneth D. (2005). Boss Tweed. New York: Carrol & Graf Publishers. p. 2.
ISBN 978-0-7867-1686-9.
"Boss Tweed". Gotham Gazette. New York. 4 July 2005. Archived from the original on
"Shakman Decrees". Encyclopedia of Chicago.
"The Shakman Decrees". Cook FP Shakman. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26.
Bearfield, Domonic A. (January�February 2009). "What Is Patronage? A Critical
Reexamination". Public Administration Review. 69 (1): 64�76. doi:10.1111/j.1540-
6210.2008.01941.x. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
"Auge y ca�da de un boliburgu�s". (in Spanish). 24 November
2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2010. La
boliburgues�a �un t�rmino acu�ado por el periodista Juan Carlos Zapata para definir
a la oligarqu�a que ha crecido bajo protecci�n del gobierno chavista� consituye hoy
una "nueva clase social" de empresarios y pol�ticos que se han servido de la falta
de control del Parlamento, Fiscal�a y Contralor�a, para enriquecerse y hacer toda
suerte de negocios, algunas veces de dudosa solvencia moral
Smith, Michael; Kurmanaev, Anatoly (12 August 2014). "Venezuela Sees Chavez
Friends Rich After His Death Amid Poverty". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 16 April
Bosworth, C. E. Bosworth& Asimov, M.S. History of Civilizations of Central Asia.
4, Part 2. p. 300.
Davis, Seth: The difference between patrons and fans,, April 6 2007.
Archived October 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
McGee, Eugene (2010-10-04). "'Rules' critics must look at bigger picture". Irish
Independent. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
"A new tradition in the GAA?". Irish Times. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
Further reading
Wikisource-logo.svg S�gm�ller, Johannes Baptist (1913). "Patron and Patronage" . In
Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. This
is the reference for the Canon law section.
Simpson, Jeffrey (1988). Spoils of Power: the Politics of Patronage. Toronto:
Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-217759-7.
External links
Look up patron or patronage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Texts on Wikisource:
"Patron" . Encyclop�dia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
"Patron" . Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
"Patronage" . Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
Authority control Edit this at Wikidata
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