Dallas hotel The Joule has an art collection that will justify skipping the museums.
By Niki Jones, Eye photo by Niki Jones, Joule photos courtesy of The Joule, Forty Five Ten photo by Max Burkhalter
Strolling down Main Street in Dallas, deep in the heart of the Arts District, passersby would be hard-pressed not to notice a giant eyeball looming over a picturesque and beautifully manicured park. Three stories tall, the eyeball looks as realistic as if it were plucked from a colossal human face, complete with red blood vessels in the sclera and a precisely detailed deep-blue iris.
This eye-catching (pun intended) installation is Tony Tasset’s “Eye” and is part of The Joule hotel’s ever-changing art collection featuring more than 50 pieces.
The Joule is, by most anyone’s standards, a luxury hotel. Housed in a 1920s neo-Gothic building and opened in
2008, it was the vision of Dallas oil tycoon Tim Headington, and the art collection, as well as the hotel, belongs to him. The collection is predominantly contemporary and spans the era of 1956 to 2016. The prodigious mix of media is in itself a major point of interest: Neon, a subway window, car engines and fiberglass serve as compelling media choices for some of the pieces. Lesser-known artists share the space with more famous works, including Andy Warhol’s “Electric Chairs.”
Exhibited mostly on the hotel’s main floor, the artwork is displayed in a manner that is very accessible to visitors, allowing viewers to get up close and take in the details. As to the flow, the collection circles the lobby and makes its way through the building’s main floor, passing the hotel’s intimate lobby bar. (Try to name a museum where visitors can grab a nightcap!)
On the main floor of The Joule, there is ample seating everywhere; settees, sofas and club chairs are scattered throughout the space. Taschen Library, a bookstore stacked to the rafters with the noted publishing house’s signature coffee-table art books, is a visual oasis where bibliophiles can easily spend hours.
“We want to be a place where members of the community can come and work or just hang out and enjoy the art and books,” says Dan Macey, The Joule’s guest-relations ambassador, whose enthusiasm for the collection is infectious. “I believe we have created a unique space where there is something for everyone.”
ELEMENTS IN THE MIX
As if The Joule’s art collection weren’t enough to behold, throughout the hotel exist 73 stunning mosaics by artist Millard Sheets salvaged from the historic midcenturyv Mercantile building that was demolished in 2006. Comprised of Italian-made colored glass tiles, many of which are platinum or 24-karat gold beneath the glass, the mosaics represent fire, water, earth and air. The grand and lavish aesthetic of the mosaics is an unexpected and somehow perfect complement to the modernity of the contemporary collection.
Those who prefer their art to be wearable can get their own better-than-a-museum experience across the street from The Joule at Forty Five Ten, a 38,000-square-foot, four-story building featuring cutting-edge pieces from emerging designers, as well as the most unconventional clothing and accessories for both men and women from designers such as Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens. Jewelry, beauty products, shoes and spectacular home goods are scattered throughout the space, each item more unique than the next.
The crowning glory of Forty Five Ten is the top floor: a stunning cocktail lounge and restaurant called Mirador. Flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, the airy dining room is bathed in natural light and enormous, bold art prints line the walls. The menu features unique and artfully presented dishes such as whipped-ricotta toast with marinated fruit and pistachios, and tuna crudo with ginger, marinated gooseberries and lime. In keeping with the theme, the offerings here feel like a collection as thoughtfully planned as the clothing featured on floors below. The service at Mirador is impeccable without being stuffy, and the attention to detail—right down to the minimalist utensils—makes for an elevated dining experience.
LESS THAN A STONE’S THROW
The idea that art lovers wouldn’t have to venture even one block from their hotel to get a major art, fashion and food experience seems like a lofty one, but it’s possible and highly recommended.
ARTISTS WHOSE WORK IS CURRENTLY REPRESENTED IN THE JOULE COLLECTION
Tony Cragg, Nicolas Deshayes, Roger Hiorns, Andy Warhol, Leandro Erlich, Adam Fuss, Noam Rappaport, Richard Phillips, Wayne Gonzales, Tomory Dodge, William Daniels, Ellsworth Kelly, Barry Flanagan, Arturo Herrera, Frank Thiel, Julian Stanczak, Andrew Kuo, Dan Rees, Callum Innes, Saint Clair Cemin, John Holt Smith, Rainer Judd, David Levinthal, Los Carpinteros, David Maisel, Anthony Pearson, Eileen Quinlan, Jessica Rath, Joseph Stashkevetch, Haegue Yang, Tony Tasset, Erika Verzutti, Brian Calvin, Scott Reeder, Millard Sheets
Tours of the collection are available upon request. Please contact The Joule for more information.