High end hoteliers have been attracted to the value of original, recognizable art for some time. But the trend is increasing as the worlds of luxury and art continue to meld. The Financial Times has a story on the ways in which hotels are using artists to create a distinctive experience
Alex Toledano, a Paris-based art consultant whose clients include Ritz-Carlton hotels, says: “Hotels, especially hotel owners, recognise that they have been spending a decent amount on art for many years without it doing anything special for their property. They’ve realised that the money could be used not only to tell an interesting narrative about their properties but also to make them more memorable.”
He adds that hotels used to purchase decorative art from “manufacturing companies” that churned out works in bulk. “Now you’re starting to see the desire of hotels to ask more of the artwork to make their property unique, rather than resembling many others.”
There is also a move away from abstract art, previously considered the “least offensive” form, he says. “Now, hotels are willing to take more of a risk. That is what is making art in hotels exciting right now. Our clients are asking for a diversity of art that we wouldn’t have expected a couple of years ago.”
He […] acquired an historical collection for The Lanesborough in London. “Every single room is different from the next,” he says. […] The focus was on art from the 1830s and earlier. “We imagined a wealthy English family living in London at the time The Lanesborough was built.”
Along with English portraits and military and hunting scenes, the hotel has two paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the 18th-century master. His portraits of a Captain John Smith and his unnamed wife greet visitors.