Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

21c Museum and Hotel

This is probably the most innovative and unique arts organization I’ve seen to date. 21c Museum Hotel is just that, a museum that’s a hotel. They feature contemporary art exhibition in various mediums (painting, sculpture, performance, interactive, new media), as well as run a hotel. Created by avid Kentucky art collectors who wanted to stop suburban sprawl from taking over their hometown, they bought old warehouses and transformed them into boutique hotels with exhibitions. They are now expanding into Durham, North Carolina and already have museum hotels in Cincinnati and Arkansas.

I feel that a number of us in our program want to start our own arts organizations and I feel that it’s vital to think outside-of-the-box and create organizations that naturally fit into the lives of the people we wish to serve. It should also solve a problem in a community in a new and innovative way. It’s also interesting to see a typically non-profit arts organization (a museum), and a for-profit organization (a hotel) being morphed into one new, unique model. Thoughts?


2 comments on “21c Museum and Hotel

  1. hshambroom
    October 21, 2014

    I love this idea! While it’s not marketed in the same way as the 21c Museum and Hotel, the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore (, as well as the Capitol Skyline Hotel here in DC both have a similar premise. Both are owned by Mera and Don Rubell, avid art collectors who have one of the most impressive collections of contemporary art in the country (they also own a private museum in Miami which houses most of their collection). They do not present their hotels as museums but they similarly incorporate artworks from their collection into the buildings, the lobbies, and the guest suites of their hotels. The Capitol Skyline Hotel was recently host to Emerge, a DC based contemporary art festival, and for an entire weekend the hotel turned into a giant museum, with different galleries and artists inhabiting every room on certain floors, leaving the doors open for visitors to wander in and out.

  2. benjamendouglas
    October 22, 2014

    Yup. Love this! I’m soooo over yucky 1990’s hotel art!

    The one in Bentonville, which pairs nicely with Crystal Bridges. But before they were doing all of that, Fred Carl (Viking Range) opened the Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, MS with the same idea. They have an excellent collection.

    Check out:

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