How Did These famous Paintings End Up in Casinos?

When you think of casinos, beautiful and famous artwork may not be the first thing that pops into your mind. Most people think of bright lights, the sound of slot machines, and the whirl of the roulette wheel. However, many casinos host incredible collections, worthy of some of the finest galleries. The pieces held by these institutions are often rare and exceptionally valuable. Many casinos host some of the most decadent and expensive art in the world.

Although one may not instantly recognize the relationship between the art and gambling world, it becomes easy to understand why they make such a great combination. Casinos are places of intense opulence and exuberance, having famous artworks adorning the walls enriches this luxurious and exclusive atmosphere. According to hire curators and spend enormous amounts of money to ensure their casino walls are adorned with the most exquisite pieces available.

Casinos That Host Famous Artworks

In recent years, many famous artists’ work has ended up on casino walls, from the likes of Jean Micheal-Basquiat to Claude Monet and Andy Warhol. Land-based casinos use art to emphasize their iconic branding and artwork has transformed these venues into unmissable destinations, even for those who don’t love a flutter. In the age of Instagram and online gambling, it is easy to see why these big-name casinos are investing a lot of money on eye-catching artworks.

The Bellagio

As well as being an iconic casino and luxurious hotel, the Bellagio is also an internationally renowned fine art gallery. It is Las Vegas’ premier exhibition space and hosts an ever-changing collection of artworks, paintings, and objects. These exhibits are borrowed from world-class galleries and institutions. Since the galleries opening in 1998, the list of artists who have had works displayed at the Bellagio is staggering. This includes but isn’t limited to; Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, and 238 Fabergé Eggs.

The Palms Casino

Another jewel in Las Vegas’ crown, this hotel once again corrects the notion that Las Vegas is lacking in culture. Thanks to its recent major renovation, the casino hotel now hosts millions of dollars of artwork on its walls. Whether you’re relaxing in the cocktail lounge or dining in one of the incredible restaurants you will be surrounded by household names. In a private suite in the Scotch 80 steakhouse hangs a quartet of Jean-Michel Basquiat, a single woman’s bathroom stall is decorated to resemble a frosted cake by Scott Hove and above the front desk, you can see the neon pink words of Olivia Steele’s “Wish you were here!” popping against a bright blue backdrop.

The cherry on top of this $620 million renovation has to be their impressive collection of artworks by YBA artist Damien Hurst. His artworks can be found in “The Unknown Bar” and “The Empathy Suite”, otherwise known as the world’s most expensive hotel room. For 200,000 dollars a weekend, guests get to enjoy living alongside many of Damien Hurst’s most famous artworks. From the butterfly paintings and pool to the pill cabinet and iconic spot motifs, this suite provides guests the unique experience of sleeping inside Hurt’s mind. In “The Unknown Bar” guests can enjoy a glass or two sitting underneath the artist’s controversial 1999 sculpture The Unknown. This dominating sculpture features three tanks in which a large shark has been dissected in three and preserved in formaldehyde.

Live! Casino and Hotel

It’s not just Las Vegas casinos that go all out to impress their guests with fabulous art collections. This 350,000-square-foot hotel in Hanover, Maryland has an impressive collection of works adorning its walls. Curated by Suzi Cordish, The Cordish Collection has over 40 works such as Andy Warhol’s $ (9), Charlie Ahn’s Void, and Nick Cave’s mixed-media artwork titled Tondo.

Wynn Palace

The Wynn Palace in Las Vegas is home to an extensive and phenomenal collection of Asian and Western artworks. Arranged around the hotel you will find modern works such as Jeff Koon’s Tulips coexisting alongside a vast array of Asian rugs and 18th Century Buccleuch vases. Next to Louis XV Aubusson tapestries, you will find Liao Yibai’s giant stainless steel pop art Cinderella High Heal. This casino embraces old and new, East meets West and celebrates sharing these fabulous pieces with their customers. This philosophy of sharing is of high importance to Wynn Palace and it is for this reason that artworks have been installed in high-traffic, public spaces. They believe art is “unique, exquisitely crafted, and meant to be enjoyed.”