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These art-forward destinations inspire curiosity and celebrate creativity

Discover captivating art in these three world-class cities that will enhance your experience and stay. | By Paul Oswell | August 31, 2023

There are artistic delights in destinations around the world that celebrate both contemporary local talent and internationally renowned creators that have inspired art aficionados for centuries. These three world-class cities highlight some of the best representations of artistic mastery:

  • New York: Edgy and provocative, New York’s art scene sparks global trends

  • London: Centuries of art history keep London on the artistic world stage

  • Osaka: A dynamic repository of Asian and international art, Osaka shines with artistic wonder

Interior of lobby at Conrad NY Midtown
Discover exquisite artwork in New York’s finest museums, as well as in the comfort of your hotel.

New York

The Big Apple has a strong claim as the art capital of the world. This is, after all, the city that spawned pioneering talents like Jean-Michel Basquiat, and where legends such as Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and Keith Haring made their names. World-class museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) welcome millions of visitors each year. Their permanent collections include iconic works in the league of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Jackson Pollock’s “Number 31” and Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.” And let’s not forget neighborhoods like Chelsea, a celebrated art epicenter and home to hundreds of galleries and exhibition spaces.

Further your artistic exploration with a stay at Conrad New York Midtown. Upon entering the lobby, you’ll see Carole Feuermann's hyper-realistic sculpture, “Leda and the Swan.” The work is based on the Greek myth of the god Zeus disguising himself as a swan to seduce the beautiful Leda. In Feuermann's updated version, a reclining Leda wears a vintage women’s swimsuit and cap, relaxing against an inflatable swan.

In collaboration with art consultants, Conrad New York Midtown features dozens of specially curated pieces throughout the hotel, paying homage to movements such as pop art, cubism, hyperrealism and contemporary art. The collection takes guests on an inspiring visual journey that awakens unique interpretations and coincides with the hotel’s palpable artistic energy. While visiting New York, you can spend the day exploring the seemingly endless exhibits and galleries around town before returning to your home away from home to enjoy even more masterful artistry on display.

Cozy Sitting Area at Blue Boar Pub
Take a private art tour of Conrad London St. James to learn about the hotel’s curated collection.

London

In a sophisticated city with nearly two millenniums of history, it’s little wonder that art has played such an important role in London’s status as a true world capital. The first cityscapes were painted as early as the 17th century, and many of the greats have put London’s skyline on canvas. Impressionists like Monet, Pissarro and Van Gogh created colorful riverside scenes of the Thames River, immortalizing the views. Hogarth, Constable and even Picasso were pulled in by the energy and events of London life.

Art museums abound here, from the venerable old masters of the National Gallery to the challenging, cutting-edge innovation of Tate Modern. With sculptures, murals and museums around every corner, London is a true celebration of art.

For those looking for inspiration during every part of their stay, consider Conrad London St. James. Located in the political and historic heart of Westminster, the hotel is within walking distance of the National Gallery, Tate Britain and the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. The hotel also works with a range of British artists to provide guests with stimulating and engaging visual experiences on-site. Discover striking artwork throughout the property, including a bronze relief of London by artist Peter Millard and the very first 3D holographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Chris Levine. For a unique perspective, your concierge can book a private on-site art tour where you can learn more about the property’s expansive collection.

Whether exploring your hotel or the town itself, London invites you to bask in the paintings, lithographs, photographs and even political cartoons that work together to create the artistic fabric of this historic city.

Lobby Entrance
Immerse yourself in the whimsical displays of art found throughout Conrad Osaka.

Osaka, Japan

Japan’s second largest city is also one of its most cosmopolitan thanks to its history as a thriving port town. Known for its exciting culinary scene, Osaka also has a wealth of artistic talent and fine museums and galleries. The city’s artists pride themselves on not following the trends that permeate Tokyo’s art scene, but instead forging their own individual paths.

Innovation and originality drive creativity here, though the internationally known greats are also represented. Head to the National Museum of Art, located on Nakanoshima, a small island just west of the city center. There, you’ll find works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Cézanne, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Tsuguharu Foujita. For historical East Asian art, the Nakanoshima Kosetsu Museum of Art has everything from early Buddhist artworks to cultural relics, all from the private collection of Ryohei Murayama.

Your visually playfully imaginative and inspiring getaway continues at Conrad Osaka, where the aesthetics of the property will leave you feeling connected to nature, even in the midst of a bustling city. The hotel’s on-site artwork includes oversized bubble sculptures by Kyoto-based artist Kohei Nawa; water-inspired woodwork sculptures by Canadian Brent Comber; and Takahiro Matsuo’s deconstructed illuminating chandelier that bathes you in light. Guests can also explore the hotel’s stimulating hidden art, including atrium, chapel and banquet hall constellations, and guestroom wall art featuring Japanese elemental colors like red and white.

From the fast pace of New York to the historic works of London and the quieter backdrop of Osaka, these three artistic international destinations are not to be missed. Discover the breathtaking works on display throughout these cities and stay inspired by immersing yourself in the bold design and local art installations around the world at any Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

Paul Oswell is a British award-winning journalist and published travel author based in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. His books include Bucket List North America and The Great American Road Trip, as well as New Orleans' Historic Hotels. He has also been an editor of and contributor to several guide books/editions published by Dorling Kindersley (owned by Penguin), including New Orleans, Florida, Orlando, Los Angeles, California and The United States. His work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure (both of which he has written multiple online travel guides for) and The Guardian, as well as dozens of international newspaper and magazine titles, and inflight magazines for major airlines.

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