New York City’s historic Gramercy Park Hotel may have long-standing reputation as a music industry favorite (David Bowie nicknamed it “the Glamercy” back in the ‘70’s, and everyone from the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan to Blondie and The Clash checked in while on tour), but these days, it’s art that’s taking center stage. While the walls of the boho-chic spot’s public spaces are always adorned with pieces from the hotel’s $50-plus million collection, as of September 5, guests will be surrounded by 16 rarely-seen works by Andy Warhol—including two pieces that are among the most valuable in the whole collection.
The first-ever dedicated Warhol exhibit replaces a showcase of works by photographer David LaChapelle (which, at over two years, was the hotel’s longest running exhibit to date.) Among the Warhol portraits gazing out from the walls of the lobby-level Rose Bar are those of Rudolph Nureyev (painted in 1974 and 1975), Jerry Hall (from 1984), the Shah of Iran (from 1978), and Giorgio Armani (two from 1981); the latter are said to have the highest price tags. All the pieces are owned by real estate magnate Aby Rosen, a noted Warhol collector—and owner of this hotel, among others.
It was when Rosen bought the hotel in the early-2000’s that art became a key part of the design. In 2006, artist/ filmmaker Julian Schnabel was enlisted during the renovation to help design many of the spaces and furnishings, and curate the featured sculptures and artwork. For the latter, he was able to pull from that multi-million-dollar in-house collection, which includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Fernando Botero, Tom Wesselman, and Damien Hirst. The hotel is always rotating what’s on display, so while there to check out the Warhols, be sure to make your way to the adjacent Jade Bar, the lobby, and the Gramercy Terrace to spot other world-class works. Exhibits at the Gramercy Park Hotel tend to run for six to twelve months, but no end date has currently been set for the Andy Warhol display.