Hotel Online  Special Report


 Interpretations of the Hotel and its Environment Subject of
Major Art Works for the Jumeirah Essex House Lobby
in New York City
Contemporary Works by Noted Korean Photographer
Atta Kim and American Painter Mark Innerst

NEW YORK - March 8, 2007 - This winter, Manhattan’s prestigious Jumeirah Essex House unveiled stunning new artwork in the hotel’s newly redesigned lobby as part of their new “artists-in-residence” program created and developed by the hotel’s curator, Katherine Gass. The hotel is uniquely situated at the southern base of New York City’s revered Central Park, an internationally renowned and beloved urban oasis right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The renovation of such a historic hotel called for a fresh approach to the artwork within. 

Katherine Gass, the Jumeirah Essex House’s curator, proposed an art program that celebrated Central Park’s magnificence in art – with two very special commissioned works created by noted Korean photographer Atta Kim and renowned American contemporary urban landscape painter, Mark Innerst. Both Mr. Kim and Mr. Innerst researched their individual projects at the hotel last fall and developed their artwork based on their own artistic and creative interpretations of the hotel and its environment. 

Central Park photograph featuring William Shakespeare
statue by photographer, Atta Kim

Central Park photograph of Christopher
Columbus by photographer, Atta Kim
Since the Jumeirah brand equates to innovative luxury, exquisite beauty and unmatched comfort, images of Central Park, both historic and newly commissioned, suit the hotel perfectly. Designed in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Central Park has welcomed millions of visitors from around the world into its verdant embrace as a place to connect to nature, restore, relax, and repair from life’s demands. To best accomplish the mission of bringing Central Park and its environs into the Jumeirah Essex House, Gass and the hotel management team commissioned two internationally known artists to create major works for the lobby. Artists were invited to reside in the hotel as part of their research. “The essence of this historic building and its relationship to Central Park needed to be experienced by the artists, who were thrilled by the idea of staying on-property”, said Gass. The intention is to initiate an evergreen series of “Artists in Residence” programs at Jumeirah Essex House. Such a program appropriately reflects Jumeirah’s “Stay Different” brand positioning. 

Korean photographer Atta Kim was chosen for his luminously beautiful long exposure color photographs. “I saw his exhibition at the International Center of Photography was struck by the intensity of the color and the meditative quality of the serene, ‘people-less’ landscapes. Kim uses painstakingly precise 8 hour-long exposures. Anything within the frame of the camera that is not fixed in space disappears. Movement can register as light, but rarely do you see a body. I loved the idea that time has everything to do with making his images and that he is using ancient techniques to make these extraordinarily modern pictures,” said Gass. 

For painting, Gass approached American painter Mark Innerst to create a view of 59th Street looking east which would capture the Central Park on the one side, and the historic row of hotels and buildings on the other. “Everyone fell instantly in love with his work when I proposed him,” stated Gass. “There was much excitement when they realized that the style of his work connected the hotel’s Art Deco era feel with the pulse and vibrancy of the contemporary urban environment. The view was the suggestion of the hotel’s General Manager, which was wonderful.” 

“The hotel’s new artwork brings the classic beauty and the history of Central Park into the hotel’s newly redesigned lobby,” stated Scott Dawson, General Manager, Jumeirah Essex House. “The hotel’s vintage advertising dating from 1934 displayed in the exhibition says it best, ‘Always in touch with the Park; Never out of touch with the City,’” added Dawson. 

The program also includes a collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York and Magnum Photos, in the form of an exhibition of historic images of Central Park curated by Gass from their archives that dates from the mid-1800s to the present. The exhibition, which will be on view for one year, is housed in the new lobby gallery created expressly for that purpose. 

About Jumeirah Essex House 

The 515-room Jumeirah Essex House is celebrating its 75th anniversary and is currently undergoing a major refurbishment project scheduled for completion by summer 2007 which will feature an exciting new restaurant by a top New York City designer opening later this year. This historic New York City hotel, with a coveted Central Park address, is ideally located in the heart of Manhattan. Jumeirah Essex House is part of the Dubai-based luxury international hospitality group Jumeirah and sister to the world’s most luxurious hotel, Burj Al Arab. 

Features of the hotel include breathtaking views, unrivalled conference and banqueting facilities. The Jumeirah Essex House is a recipient of both the Michelin Guide’s 2007 “Five Pavilions Award,” and the 2006 AAA Four-Diamond Award. The hotel was also awarded New York’s Leading Business Hotel at the 2007 13th World Travel Awards, voted by travel agents worldwide. And, most recently, the Jumeirah Essex House was ranked 2nd in the “Best Hotel in the U.S.” category in Global Traveler Magazine’s “2006 GT Tested Awards.” 

Other hotels in the Group’s portfolio include Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai. For reservations, please call Jumeirah Essex House toll free at 1-888-645-5697 or visit 

About Jumeirah 

Jumeirah properties are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The Dubai-based luxury hospitality group encompasses the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London as well as the Dubai portfolio: the world renowned Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel; the multi-award winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel; Jumeirah Emirates Towers; Jumeirah Beach Club Resort and Spa; Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. 

The group’s activities are however, not restricted to hotel and resort management. The Jumeirah portfolio also includes Wild Wadi, regarded as one of the premier water parks outside of North America and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, the region’s only third level academic institution specializing in the hospitality and tourism sectors. 


Mark Ricci

Also See: Dubai Investment Group Acquires the Essex House Hotel from Strategic Hotel Capital LLC; Jumeirah Hospitality & Leisure Named to Replace Starwood as Operator of the 605-room Hotel Bearing Two Brands: Westin and St. Regis / September 2005
Chef Alain Ducasse Moving His Signature New York City Restaurant at the Jumeirah Essex House to the Room in the St. Regis Hotel Once Occupied by Lespinasse / September 2006

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