Culturespaces, France’s leading private manager of museums and cultural heritage sites, and IMG, a global leader in events, media, fashion and sports,
today opened its first North American cultural institution, Hall des Lumières, in the landmarked former Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank at 49 Chambers Street, becoming Manhattan’s first permanent center for custom-designed immersive art experiences. Culturespaces, credited for originating the current wave of immersive digital art experiences including the famed Atelier des Lumières in Paris, created Hall des Lumières in partnership with IMG.
Representatives from both Culturespaces and IMG celebrated the occasion this morning at a ceremony before officially opening the doors and introducing the public to its inaugural exhibition Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion.
To commemorate the center’s opening, Hall des Lumières partnered with The Doughnut Project – a female-led, hand-crafted, small-batch doughnut shop in the West Village of Manhattan that takes inspiration from food and cocktails to create unique flavors and custom collaborations – to release a limited-edition Klimt donut. Inspired by the color palette and motifs made famous by Klimt’s golden, shimmery paintings, the donut highlights his work in celebration of the launch of the new digital art center. The Hall des Lumières donut were sold at The Doughnut Project throughout the day.
The immersive digital arts center is located within the elaborate former teller hall and vault level of the historic , landmarked Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank at 49 Chambers Street , which was carefully restored over the past three years. Hall des Lumières will showcase entirely new, custom-curated experiences based on the work of different world-renowned artists every ten to twelve months, starting with this debut exhibition.
This inaugural installation features luminescent, 30-foot-high animated images of celebrated works by the painter, along with other sensory elements including an original accompanying musical soundtrack. The experience brings guests through Klimt’s legendary career while perfectly complementing the marble walls, towering columns, stained glass skylights and coved ceilings of the grandiose space. The artistic team behind the exhibition is led by the Culturespaces Digital team and Gianfranco Iannuzzi whose previous projects include his original immersive experience of the work of Vincent van Gogh, which is widely known across the globe and has attracted as many as 1.4 million visitors a year.
A shorter, complementary digital experience accompanies Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion featuring works by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian painter inspired by Klimt. During their visit to Hall des Lumières, visitors also can learn about the history and design of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, one of the first skyscrapers built in the Beaux-Arts style, and a display of Klimt paintings shown at actual scale, with information about the museums and galleries where they can be seen across the globe. Guests can also enjoy a contemporary creation by the interdisciplinary studio Nohlab, titled 5 Movements, which will guide visitors to explore space and time through the performer’s five different types of body movements. The bank’s former vault space, transformed into an infinity room covered by mirrors, showcases Recoding Entropia, another contemporary film experience by François Vautier, reflecting on the vastness of the mind’s possibilities.
Hall des Lumières is open seven days a week and ticket prices start at $30 for adults. Special prices are also available for seniors (65+), youths (ages 5-16), members of the military and college students, while children under 5 are free. For more information and to purchase tickets to experience the Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion installation, visit www.halldeslumieres.com. Follow Hall des Lumières on Instagram and Facebook at @halldeslumieres.