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For the Sake of Hotel Art: The James Chicago's 'Room 28'

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  Site Where: 55 East Ontario [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60610
September 15, 2010 at 4:34 PM | by | ()

Is the WiFi free? Does the gym have good machines? All these things get noticed when checking into a hotel, but what about the atmosphere of the place—specifically the art on the walls or on the floor? All this week, we'll be highlighting properties around the world that do their artwork right, and the specific pieces you should stare long and hard at when next you drop by.

Today: The James Chicago's "Room 28" by Joel Ross.

When you check into the James Hotel in Chicago—the original James, as there's now a second, in New York—you'll turn away from reception and towards the elevators, but first you must maneuver around a large stack of ramshackle luggage. That's no careless dump of a guest's (or a whole bus trip's) baggage, but an art piece named "Room 28," by Chicago artist Joel Ross.

"Room 28" is significant in that it belong the The James' permanent collections, since it was one of the hotel's first artwork purchases. It's not all empty space inside those bags, either. The vintage suitcases contain "the entire remains" of a dismantled Texas motel room. Don't worry, any bed bugs that came along are long dead by now. For guests who enjoy this piece and more art, the hotel often partners up with Chicago's Art Institute to offer special packages and museum entrance deals. Rates for such packages usually start around $279 per night, but keep checking back here to watch for when the art specials pop up.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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