Is New York City’s Most Exciting New Art Collection Inside a Hotel?

When The Ned—a hotel and members’ club from the people who created Soho House—opened in London in 2017, part of its charm was an art collection meant to challenge ideas of what a club located in the buttoned-up City of London could well

“In London, I decided to respond to a prejudice about what the neighborhood was like,” says Kate Bryan, the global art director for Soho House & Co. “Who hangs out there? Will they all be guys of a certain age smoking cigars? The Ned proved that there were very interesting people in the City and they needed a place to hang out that was thoughtfully done. So, I decided that our art collection should reflect that disparity.”

What Bryan did was curate a collection of 100 artworks, 93 of which were done by women artists and seven of which were done by men, but only those who were in collaboration with women. It was a purposeful choice to reverse the gender disparity evident in business. “It was a progressive collection and really made a statement,” Bryan explains. “I knew that when we were going to do the Ned in New York, I needed to think about inclusion and make it the backbone of the collection.”

the ned nomad nyc art collection

A work by b. chehayeb, titled “carne asada,” hangs in The Snug inside The Ned NoMad. The hotel and members’ club’s art collection includes work by Mickalene Thomas, Marilyn Minter, and Rashid Johnson.


Now that the Ned has opened in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood, Bryan has made good on her plan. “The collection in New York is about the building,” she explains. “It was financed in 1903 by a woman, which was extremely unusual, and it was part of a moment at the beginning of the last century when people whose parents or grandparents had been enslaved were business owners, when queer people were living openly in these bohemian lifestyles, and women were financing projects. The Harlem Renaissance was only a decade away. There was an amazing time when there were such progressive attitudes and New York was such a hotbed of them.”

She goes on, “Over the course of the rest of the century, however, a lot of those breakthroughs were challenged. A hundred years later we’re still trying to reclaim that ground in many respects, so the collection, which is called ‘A Different Century,’ is curated in response to that moment in history. We are asking artists to think what that last century could have been like and what this one should be like.”

the ned nomad nyc art collection

Visitors to the Atrium at the Ned NoMad will see Isaac Julien’s “A STAR TO A SEER (LESSONS OF THE HOUR),” at left, and Rashid Johnson’s “Bruise Painting,” at right.


The hotel has commissioned and acquired works by artists including Marilyn Minter, Mickalene Thomas, David Wojnarowicz, Rashid Johnson, Glenn Ligon, and more to not only underscore Bryan’s mission, but also to add atmosphere to the space. The Ned’s library boasts a Zoë Buckman Sculpture, its outpost of the restaurant Cecconi’s features work by all female artists, and even the reception desk greets guests with works by Minter and Elliott Jerome Brown, Jr.—making clear a devotion not only to established talent in the art world but rising stars as well. “We’re always trying to make it so that there’s a big impact when you come in—hey, we have Laurie Simmons in our lobby—but also to have layers you can peel back over time,” she explains. “There are a few surprises.”

It’s something Soho House CEO Nick Jones is excited to share with guests. “New York is so special to me and has been an important part of our history at Soho House and five years after launching The Ned London, we’re really excited to be able to bring The Ned NoMad to New York,” he says. “The Ned London created a truly new destination in the heart of the city, and I can’t wait to see the same happen in New York.”

the ned nyc art collection

Merrill Wagner’s “Summer Studio 1983-2003” hangs in the members’ dining room of the Ned NoMad.


For Bryan, the artwork in the hotel tells a story about the building’s history, but also serves as a backdrop for the memories being made there today. “This place is a love letter to the New York of the last century, and it’s exciting to situate yourself in that context,” she says. “Everything feels good but never so luxurious that anyone is out of place. We want people to be imagining that this is their art; it’s there because this is a place for people to enjoy it.”

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