Your Key To Art and Where to Find it in New York City

Art is flourishing in New York City and so are the galleries.  Searching for art can be a bit overwhelming because New York is expansive with clusters of galleries in various neighbourhoods with many galleries opening, closing or just relocating to less expensive areas.  The only constants are the permanent collections at museums; even then, the exhibits too change from time to time.

As a general rule, galleries sell art while museums exhibit.  The advantage of going to a gallery is that one can take advantage of both perusing fine pieces of art and purchasing them.

If guests want to view the Masters, I will direct them to museum greats such as The Frick Collection or The Metropolitan Museum of Art. If their taste is for modern art, then I will refer them to giants such as The MoMA, the Guggenheim or The Whitney.  Selecting an appropriate artist or genre, I like to match the preference of my guests with a suitable gallery in order to offer a more personalized and unique experience.

Two of my go-to resources are The Gallery Guide or artnet. They contain invaluable information covering the full spectrum of art exhibits in the city.

Typically, if the affluent traveler is searching for more up-market pieces by well-known or established artists, I might suggest galleries on the Upper East Side (“UES”) or Midtown.

I also enjoy the diverse and richly complex art galleries in Chelsea where they are located within a short stroll of one another. Some share the same street address and many on different floors. I use the Chelsea Gallery map frequently to stay on top of the changing exhibits.

Bridging the UES to Chelsea are the famous Gogasian Gallery and The Gladston Gallery.  The Gogasian Gallery is an immersion into the world of art where one can find rare books related to art, jewelry, posters and of course top artists featured in their exhibits. The Gladstone Gallery represents a more eclectic and well-known contemporary art platform. Both have galleries on the UES and in Chelsea.

For those interested in the School of Rouen, Impressionism or Post-Impressionism, I would suggest The Findlay Gallery conveniently located one block from our hotel on Fifth Avenue.  Established in 1870, The Findlay Gallery is also one of the oldest and most trusted galleries in New York. Just around the corner from the hotel on 57th Street is another group of galleries, including the Marlborough Gallery – a contemporary gallery with a modern edge, representing highly acclaimed artists from around the globe.

For the adventure seekers, I would recommend Brooklyn – a booming art town growing rapidly over the past decade.  Here, you will find more cutting edge art and incredible galleries.  Reminiscent of SoHo back in the 90’s, the neighbourhoods of DUMBO, Greenpoint and Williamsburg have an impressive lineup of galleries, although SoHo still holds its title.

If outdoor art inspires, The Bushwick Collective located just beyond Williamsburg is a flourishing artistic neighbourhood to explore.  Take Jefferson Street and stroll along Troutman Street towards Saint Nicholas, you will discover truly breathtaking street art murals once referred to as “graffiti”. 

As an avid art aficionado, I am fortunate that my hotel, The Peninsula New York, supports renowned artists, photographers and sculptors from around the world.  There are numerous curated and rotating installations of artwork throughout the hotel lobby and public spaces.  We also have QR codes to connect the admirers with the artists and galleries.

In celebration of the hotel’s 30th Anniversary, we are currently hosting a prominent installation referred to as the suite of Warhol’s Mao prints in our Gotham Lounge.  As well, works from numerous artists such as Francesco Clemente and Jean-Michel Basquiat are also displayed in other areas throughout the hotel.  This is particularly exciting for me as I am a huge fan of Andy Warhol and, of course, very proud of my hotel.

The bottom line is everyone should experience and enjoy art in New York.  There is a full spectrum that exists in all five boroughs to suit and inspire every taste.  As well, there is an equally diverse and knowledgeable group of Les Clefs d’Or Concierges who are eager to curate an itinerary for each of our guests satisfying just about everyone’s artistic palate.

Alas, there is no Warhol of me. Sigh. But if there were, I am sure it would be one that would include my golden keys. These do, after all, define a large part of my life. 

Meet the Author
Frederick Bigler

Frederick Bigler has enjoyed a career as a New York City Hotel Concierge for more than 25 years. His career has ridden the wave of Five-Diamonds and Five Stars, having opened The St. Regis in 1991, joined The New York Palace in 1994, opening The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park in 2002 and now happily entering his 8th year with The Peninsula New York.

Frederick has served as a board member several times over the years for The New York City Association of Hotel Concierges. He has appeared on numerous television shows such as E, VH1, Nightline, CNN and been featured in countless publications such as The New York Times, USA Today, Crains, The Daily Telegraph and Forbes. He has been named by Virtuoso Magazine as one one of the Top Ten Miracle Workers in the World and has many accolades resulting from his years of service including Chef Concierge of the Year twice and Mastercard’s Award for Priceless Service awarded to him in London.

He is most proud to be a member of what he affectionately refers to “the society of golden keys” aka Les Clefs d’Or. He maintains that without this, there would be none of the above.

The Peninsula New York.

Ideally located on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, The Peninsula New York is in the heart of the city’s most prestigious shopping, entertainment and cultural district. The hotel is within walking distance of Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shopping, excellent restaurants, historic museums and exciting Broadway theatres.

The Peninsula New York is honored to be the recipient of some of the most prestigious accolades in the hospitality industry, including the Forbes Five Star rating and the AAA Five Diamond awards for 2018.

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