Flame Bag: 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky Takes Arbiter by Suprise
Where the hell have we been? Apparently, not in Louisville. We were recently art-shocked when stumbling upon what some might feel is Louisville’s most recent claim to fame–and we’re here to tell you it ain’t no bat!
Apparently we have been out to lunch as this incredible hybrid multiple-gallery, 90-room art museum/botique hotel was founded by philanthropists and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson in 2006. Created as part of the revitalization of Louisville’s faded downtown, it is housed in a melange of historic 19th century commercial buildings that originally served the tobacco and bourbon industries.
With both permanent commissions and temporary exhibits, the museum galleries are open to the public free of charge. However, if you are a poor art lover, you will only be visiting the galleries (and maybe not even the resturaunt) as the rooms start at $200 going up with seemingly no “not-for-profit” employee discount. On the other hand, the museum portion of the program is amazing and it is perhaps the high priced rooms that make free admission a possibility.
Also, if your feeling particularly chic, Proof on Main, the hotel restaurant, appears to be welcoming to all fashion heavy hitters of Louisville and perhaps, dare we say, even the local glitterati. Meals are on the high end of affordable; however, we did not partake due to timing. Eitherway we felt edified and glamourous, which is really fantastic for an afternoon’s work.
Provocative in every sense of the word, this wonderment has ignited our flame system. Officially, the “flame bag” scores four and a half out of five flames:
Particularly, we enjoyed the reuse of these 19th century buildings, the avant guarde development of such a grand new idea combining the hotel and art worlds, the exterior chandelier, and, especially, the socially acceptable nudity!