The Art of The Connaught

Introduced by The Connaught’s art curator Guy Oliver

There are over 3,000 pieces of art at The Connaught, most of which are British. Every single painting, drawing, photograph, sketch, sculpture or installation is unique, giving a residential, intimate and personalised feeling to the hotel. When you walk into The Connaught, the art makes you feel as if you have arrived at your London home.

The Connaught was originally two houses belonging to the Duke of Westminster, built on the curve of Carlos Place facing Mount Street – one of the most architecturally intact streets in London. Many of the 19th-century paintings hanging in the public areas and some of the suites came from these original houses, along with furniture that had belonged to Sir John Blundell Maple. Maple was an entrepreneur, famous for Maples department store, who opened the Coburg Hotel (as it was then called) in 1897.

When the hotel was redecorated and extended in 2007, adding a conservatory and a new wing of contemporary rooms, we started to build on the 19th-century collection, choosing British art and artists who were relevant to the identity of the hotel, to reinforce its British feeling. Among others, we collected pieces from Timothy Taylor, the gallery next door to us here in the heart of Mayfair, and Hamiltons Gallery – probably the premier photographic gallery in the world.

We also purchased, from the Getty archive, a series of 100 panoramic photographs of British travel scenes, captured around England during the 1890s. The Connaught was a place where people often started or finished a journey, and the photographs reflect this passion for travel, as well as being from the era when the hotel formally opened. They create an eclectic feel as you pass through the public spaces.

One of the first things you notice as you arrive at The Connaught is the contemporary water installation, Silence, which was commissioned from Tadao Ando in 2007. It was built around the trees in Carlos Place, and at certain times of the day, mist comes out from the grills around the base of the trees and flits across the water; at other times it is perfectly still.

The Staircase

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Inside The Connaught

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Old meets new

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Contemporary additions

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