The Ned NoMad, Manhattan, New York
Museum-level talent oozes from the art curated for a historic building with more than one story to tell.
Who knew that the place to see an exciting new art collection was a hotel and members’ club? But, to be wowed, challenged and educated, those in the know are heading to The Ned NoMad in New York to see a collection cunningly curated to reveal the building’s own history.
The Ned NoMad, which opened in June, is New York’s first Ned location. The space was previously The NoMad in Manhattan. Housed in the historic Johnston Building, the property was initially designed as a store and office building with a glamorous limestone façade. This Beaux-Arts building was once owned by a woman, Caroline A Johnston, which was extremely unusual for the time and a fact that inspired the focus of The Ned NoMad’s art collection, titled A Different Century.
Following the strong women-led focus of the first Ned in London’s financial district, Kate Bryan also leads New York’s Ned NoMad curation. A Different Century takes the history of the site owned by a pioneering woman as its starting point. At the turn of the last century, a modern world full of promise dawned. Women had been campaigning for the right to vote for decades, and they were 14 years away from being granted it in New York when this building was completed.
Around the same time, the exceptional talent born in what has become known as the Harlem renaissance would come to redefine perceptions of African American culture. Beyond New York, an era of liberalism and bohemia blossomed, famously in Paris and Berlin. The modern woman, queer people, the differently abled, and people of colour were starting to take their rightful place in the cultural landscape. And yet, we know how these voices were repressed throughout the following decades and are still fighting for equality.
This collection asks what A Different Century might have looked like and what representation means now and then.
The collection features several site-specific commissions, including emerging artist B Chehayeb’s impressive mural next to the glass-roofed atrium, a tapestry by Christopher Myers adorning the grand marble staircase, and paintings by Kevin Beasley, Cassi Namoda and Ariel Mitchell. It brings together nearly 300 artworks and presents a veritable who’s who of the New York contemporary art scene, showcasing museum-level talents such as Rashid Johnson, Marilyn Minter, Laurie Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas and Glenn Ligon. New voices on the contemporary art scene, such as Marcus Maddox and Rachel Jones, are featured, as are international artists with strong connections to New York, such as Rä di Martino and Issy Wood. The collection also includes work from the David Wojnarowicz Estate.
The Soho House design team created the interiors, inspired by the existing Beaux-Arts style of the property, which was built in 1903.
Each of the 167 bedrooms channels 1920s design, with vintage pieces, hand-knotted rugs and generous showers. Bespoke lighting hangs alongside dividing screens upholstered in damask fabric and richly patterned furnishings with botanical art deco prints.
Ned’s Club, available to members, is accessed through the first floor, next to the hotel reception. The club space is made up of several rooms across the ground and top floors to eat, drink and relax. Downstairs Ned’s club is centred around a stage underneath the atrium. Members can expect live entertainment every night, with well-known names playing alongside emerging talent.
The club also has a bar, lounge, library, rooftop terrace and dining room. Wood-panelled walls, original stained-glass windows and a parquet floor grace the dining room. Racing green fluted leather dining chairs sit alongside dark floral banquettes and burl wood tables, lit by oversized Murano glass pendants.
Hotel guests may use the first floor of Little Ned, which offers a smaller menu of bar classics, while the mezzanine level is for members only. Little Ned has 1920s-style booth seating, with upholstery inspired by the former banking hall at The Ned London, and club chairs and burl wood tables on the mezzanine floor, with views of the Empire State Building.
An intimate events space, The Magic Room, hosts members for live shows and event programming. Interiors are influenced by Art Deco cabaret clubs, with a stage, comfy club chairs and a dark high gloss painted ceiling. An outdoor terrace has further seating with petite Murano glass lanterns overhead, classic chequered floor tiles, and cast-iron base stone tables reminiscent of The Ned London rooftop.
The Ned NoMad hosts New York’s second and Manhattan’s first Cecconi’s Italian restaurant. Design details include a hand-chipped mosaic and terrazzo striped floor, a new take on the traditional Cecconi’s stripe, set against navy velvet banquettes, golden-yellow leather chairs, and a polished timber bar, inspired by classic mid-century Italian trattorias. Cecconi’s is open to the public.
Confirmed artists in The Ned Collection include Adrienne Elise Tarver, Aleksandra Mir, Amy Bravo, Anna K.E., Ariel Mitchell, B Chehayeb, Carmen Winant, Cassi Namoda. Céline Bodin, Charming Baker, Chelsea Culprit, Christopher Myers, David Salle, David Wojnarowicz, Dwight Cassin, Ethan Ryman, Ficus Interfaith, Fiona Banner, Glenn Ligon, Hank Willis Thomas, Heidi Hahn, Ilana Savdie, Issy Wood, Joel Dean, Jordan Kasey, Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson, Kambui Olujimi, Kandis Williams, Kenny Rivero, Kevin Beasley, Laurie Simmons, Madeline Donahue, Marcus Maddox, Marilyn Minter, Mark Yang, Michael Rado, Mickalene Thomas, Molly Brocklehurst, Rä di Martino, Rachel Jones, Rashid Johnson, Rose Salane, Sheree Hovesepian, SoiL Thornton, Xaviera Simmons and Zoe Buckman.