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Welcome to the Jungle: Inside Kansas City’s First Immersive Art Hotel Room

Welcome to the Jungle: Inside Kansas City’s First Immersive Art Hotel Room

Artist Patty Carroll sits in the Panther Room, a new liveable art installation inside the 21c Museum Hotel. Images courtesy of 21c Museum Hotels

The artist Patty Carroll brought out the wild animals to The Panther Room, a new liveable art installation inside the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City. The piece is inspired by one of Carroll’s photographs, Pantherfrom the series titled, Anonymous women, domestic death. The photograph, depicting a reclining woman in a black dress that can easily be confused with the piece’s namesake, is prominently displayed above the bed.

Quite simply, The Panther’s Room is an atmosphere.

The setting is dark and sensual, with a forest green jungle motif and images subtly reflecting Carroll’s work, exploring the paradoxical nature of women’s existence: identity and domesticity, empowerment and entrapment. Panthers are everywhere: a life-size statue sprawls across the wall in one corner while others peek out from under the room’s coffee table and prop up the table lamps.

Welcome to the Jungle: Inside Kansas City’s First Immersive Art Hotel Room

Stay at home The Panther Room it’s a bit like embarking on a safari in the 1960s. The gold and metallic accents blended beautifully with the rattan furniture, and I soon felt like all I was missing was a headset colonial. The nature-inspired touches continue in the bathroom, with more panther imagery and luxury bath products smelling of peppermint, rum and coriander.

Native citizens of Kansas will recognize the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City as the reimagined location of the historic Savoy Hotel and Grill. The Panther Room has some of the same creaks and idiosyncrasies inside each well-worn building, but its decadent floor-to-ceiling blackout curtains do a remarkable job of keeping things cozy and quiet, separated from the hustle and bustle of downtown just beyond. ‘outside.

Although it is tempting to remain in the isolation of The Panther Room, many things can also be seen right outside your door. The themes explored by Carroll in this installation fit perfectly with the hotel’s current museum exhibit, The future is femininewhich features local artist Lily Mueller as well as Julie Blackmon, a photographer whose work depicting scenes of domestic life has been featured at the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

The magic of The Panther Room lies in its playful touches: panther figurines arranged one after the other around the ceiling, a book of artist quotes where other hotels might leave a Bible, small succulents built into lamps, and a puzzle for spend time. The usual hotel amenities are high and I had almost forgotten the simple pleasure of emerging from a shower with a towel wrapped around it. I treated myself to a double espresso in the morning, reclining on soft but supportive velvet pillows to drink at Carroll’s. Panther more fully.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of being enveloped in a work of art, this is the way to do it.