Guggenheim offers ultimate sleepover for art lovers

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - New York art lovers now have the ultimate sleepover to rival children’s nocturnal stays at the Natural History Museum -- a night in the Guggenheim Museum.

The Guggenheim Museum is welcoming overnight guests as part of a new exhibition called “theanyspacewhatever” and the rates aren’t bad compared to the usual high prices for central Manhattan hotels.

The Guggenheim’s Chief Curator Nancy Spector said the idea came up when Carsten Holler, one of 10 artists whose works make up the exhibition, was working through plans for his exhibit “Revolving Hotel Room.”

Holler, a Belgian artist who lives and works in Sweden, asked if the museum would be willing to extend its opening hours to accommodate a hotel room.

“We were very interested in it, because it does in many ways encapsulate the concerns of these artists to really stretch the parameters of what a museum can be,” Spector told Reuters Television.

“At night our guests will be able to stay in the museum and enjoy the exhibition by themselves.”

She said this concept fitted the idea of the overall exhibition in which the artists mix visual arts with other disciplines such as literature, architecture, design and theater to extend the usual practices of museum.

The first overnight guest at the exhibition, which opens on Friday and runs until January 7, will be actress Chloe Sevigny who will sleep in the room on Saturday.

The “Revolving Hotel Room” consists of sleeping, dressing, and working areas mounted on top of four glass discs that all turn at a very slow speed.

During the day, the hotel room is open for viewing to the public as part of the exhibition, but at night, it’s strictly for paying guests in groups no larger than two.

While the stay includes the full-service amenities of a hotel, the highlight is having the museum all to yourself -- plus the security guards.

Besides the hotel room, overnight guests can enjoy a cafe/cinema where movies initially censored in the home country of the exhibit are on display or meander through a white walkway pummeled with sounds of the rainforest.

However, checkout time is an early 8:30 a.m., and aside from a breakfast of croissants and coffee served in bed, there is no other food allowed.

Spector said the overnight stay is priced differently throughout the week with a discounted rate for students on Monday nights of $259, with the price rising to about $549 by mid-week and weekends at a premium but it is already sold out.

Editing by Patricia Reaney