© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Commentary: Hotels can provide important sources to view fine art

Nancy Kranzberg

There are hotels all over the world famous for their art collections. Some of these collections feature mostly contemporary works and some feature works from many different time periods going back to classical times and up to contemporary works of our times.

Some of these artsy hotels include curators who will take guests on tours of the art works in the hotel and will even design art tours around the city. Some have art openings featuring art exhibitions which change periodically.

The Millenia in Singapore has 4200 works on display, luxury lodging and is in the running for the world's largest hotel and art collection. This Ritz Carlton Hotel has works by Frank Stella, Henry Moore and David Hockney to just skim the surface.

The Rome Cavalieri has an incredibly prestigious art collection with works by old masters such as Tiepolo, famous tapestries, a commode from the king of Poland and works by Andy Warhol.

The Royal Monceau, one of the famous hotels designed by Philippe Starke, is a fantastic melding of old world and modern Paris. The hotel is home to an art concierge who informs interested guests on what is happening in the current art news and will design custom art tours of the city and the hotel’s private art collection. 

The Villa Copenhagen and the Watson in Adelaide, Australia and The Silo in Cape Town, South Africa are at the top of all the famous art hotel lists. There are many of these incredible places all over the world.

And the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas will knock your eyes out with the sparkle of the Chihuly Glass collection and the other exhibitions of contemporary art.

And right here in St. Louis the Angad Arts Hotel not only displays contemporary art curated by professionals, but it's the only hotel that I know of where you can choose the color of your room according to your mood. The hotel features the works of mostly local artists and the works are actually for sale. The hotel is in the middle of St. Louis's Grand Center Arts District.

And also right here in St. Louis is the 21c Hotel which is one of ten museum hotels which make up one of the largest contemporary art museums in the U.S., and is North America's only collecting museum dedicated to art of the 21st century. Each property features exhibition space open free of charge to the public combined with a boutique hotel and restaurant. It was founded in 2006 by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, philanthropists, preservationists and collectors committed to expanding access to contemporary art as a means of catalyzing revitalization and civic connection. 2lc presents a range of arts programming curated by museum director and chief curator Alice Gray Stiles, including both solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, as well as site specific, commissioned installations and a variety of cultural events.

I had been to four of these incredible museum hotels which also provide unique culinary experiences with fine and casual dining featuring the latest in contemporary menus as well as art filled lobbies and incredible rooms for rest and sleep, all surrounded with exciting contemporary art. We were on the way home from a road trip of the Midwest including a stay at a 21c. Knowing that a 21c was about to open in our own downtown St. Louis, I wondered how that would compare to the others. I was at the opening of the 21c located in the reimagined and refurbished YMCA building and burst into tears to find such a masterpiece. Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson were also teary eyed at the opening and I was lucky enough to shake their hands and thank them for what they've given to so many people.

Now St Louis has another jewel in its crown to share with our visitors from all over the world.

Nancy Kranzberg has been involved in the arts community for more than forty years on numerous arts related boards.