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Inside The Cadogan hotel’s art collection

Attending Frieze this month? Extend your art experience by exploring more than 400 works at The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel

5 October 2022

Artwork in one of The Cadogan's guest rooms
Watercolours in The LaLee by artist Lisa Krannichfeld
Cadogan Place Gardens – the inspiration for the hotel's commissioned art
'Homage to Hera', a sculpture by Clarita Brinkerhoff
Artwork features in all of The Cadogan's guest rooms

Specially commissioned artworks, paintings by global artists, astounding sculpture… no, we’re not talking about London’s annual Frieze Art Fair but the art collection held by The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel, on Sloane Street. 

There is a whole world of creativity to appreciate throughout the hotel’s rooms, corridors and its restaurant, The LaLee. We sat down with general manager, Xavier Lablaude to discuss key works in the collection, the inspiration behind commissioned pieces, and how the artworks capture The Cadogan’s magic. 

And if you do happen to be attending this month’s Frieze event in Regent’s Park, or perhaps the Saatchi Gallery’s StART Art Fair (12-16 October), then why not book a stay at the hotel and soak up the artmosphere?


The Cadogan holds more than 400 works of art – why is showcasing art so important to the hotel?

The Cadogan is a treasure trove for art lovers. We may only have 54 suites and rooms, but throughout our historic halls and guest spaces visitors will uncover more than 430 unique, original works of art. It is very rare for a hotel to have an original collection of art. Most of the 30 artists whose work is held in the collection are British, and 20 are women.

The Cadogan was built in 1887 and has a rich and illustrious past. Literature and art are central themes of the hotel, connecting with its heritage but also reflecting the arts and culture scene in Chelsea.

As well as creating a visually stylish retreat for our guests, our extensive art collection allows us to tell our rich history and stories.


You commissioned a group of artists to create works for the guest rooms in the hotel. Can you explain where the inspiration came from?

The collection is inspired by botanicals, linking to the Cadogan Place Gardens – a serene space, largely hidden from the public, that our hotel guests have privileged access to. Every room and suite features an original, commissioned headboard piece.


How did you select the artists, and can you talk a little about each of them?

A wide pool of candidates was carefully whittled down to five artists who now form part of the 20 women artists we have in the collection. Each with strong ties to Britain and with a distinctive visual style. They were invited to explore Cadogan Place Gardens and were given free rein to interpret the space on their own terms.

The five artists are: Helen Ballardie, Beatriz Elorza, Jane Kell, Ele Pack and Kathleen Mullaniff. 

Helen Ballardie studied Fine Art Painting at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, and her work explores ideas around identity and perception, creating ‘memories’ from disparate images. Beatriz Elorza channels a knowledge of architecture into her work to create a strong sense of depth. She always uses four colours or less and employs a wide range of media to create ethereal canvases that offer a sense of calm. 

Jane Kell’s work, meanwhile, is grounded in the tradition of realism but pushes the boundaries of colour and form to achieve a more semi-abstract, atmospheric quality. She paints full-time from her home studio in Teddington. 

In Brighton, painter Ele Pack treats her work as a kind of ‘visual poetry’, using abstract mark-making to lift and communicate with her audience. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally. Finally, there is Kathleen Mullaniff. Her current research focuses on making floral paintings from botanical images by Victorian artist Marianne North. She has taught Fine Art at a number of universities across the UK.


Acquired from the Saatchi Gallery not far from the hotel, Homage to Hera (situated in the hall next to The LaLee) captures the attention of everyone who walks past it. Can you tell us more?

This piece of art celebrates one of The Cadogan’s former residents – Oscar Wilde. It’s a Swarovski crystal-adorned peacock by the Colombian artist Clarita Brinkerhoff. 


What’s the story behind the watercolour portraits in the stairs by The LaLee?

The hallway paintings are watercolours on paper by American artist Lisa Krannichfeld. Through her non-traditional approach to art, Krannichfeld endeavours to create a new visual representation of the female gender through her portraits. In the two paintings positioned in the hallway, the women are wearing defiant expressions and dressed in classic gentlemen’s clothing.


What is your personal highlight from the collection?

I like the work of Korean artist Jungwoo Hong. His artworks explore the human mind, in particular his own, and its scenery that may change in every moment. The hotel has a series of his Daily Drawings, a picture diary that documents his ever-changing mind in a visual form of 2D abstract art. There is currently a very interesting exhibition at the V&A about the evolution and the influence of Korean culture in the past few decades – Hallyu! The Korean Wave


The Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel; 75 Sloane Street SW1X 9SG

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