The Umstead private collection was carefully curated, and features the works of renowned local and national artists, including famed glass artist Dale Chihuly. A dedicated art gallery which changes seasonally allows The Umstead to rotate new artists’ work into the hotel to complement the permanent collection.
Guests are invited to take self-guided tours of the hotel’s collection with the aide of an art brochure that is available at the concierge desk. The tour allows guests the opportunity to appreciate all of the artists and pieces that are displayed in The Umstead’s public spaces at their leisure.
The pieces featured in the collection are modern and minimalist, adding to the contemporary, clean design of the hotel. Art is displayed in every area of The Umstead, including the public spaces, lobby, guest corridors, and guest rooms and suites. Lynn Boggess’ large, impressionistic paintings are displayed in the hotel landings on each of The Umstead’s six floors. Boggess’ pieces, like much of the collection, further The Umstead’s focus on nature. Nature photography is found in nearly all of the guest suites.
The Hotel’s pièce de résistance is an extraordinary sculpture by the renowned Chihuly. The piece, a series of snaking, clear glass tubes and bulbs, evokes stems and flowers. It is prominently featured on a round table covered with moss in the hotel lobby, and gives the illusion of shoots of growth emerging from the ground.
Local artists are also an important focus of The Umstead’s collection. North Carolina potters Ben Owen III and Mark Hewitt are featured in the Hotel’s public spaces and in Herons. Large vases and urns in soothing earth tones add to the hotel’s elegantly comfortable feel.
Herons also contains two waterscape murals by Raleigh native Kay Hutchinson. Paintings by another Raleigh artist, Herb Jackson, are displayed in the hotel lobby and Herons’ bar. Jackson’s abstract and colorful pieces are an invigorating addition to The Umstead’s collection.