London’s West End is the artistic heart of the city. While Soho is synonymous with theatre, art is the lifeline of Mayfair. From iconic Cork Street to stylish Albermale Street, home to Brown’s Hotel, this prestigious district is filled with art galleries and showrooms displaying traditional and contemporary works. Whether you’re a collector, an artist, a gallery owner, or simply partial to some window shopping, follow this guide to the best Mayfair art galleries, and find out how to join exclusive tours hosted by Brown’s Hotel.
Mayfair Art Galleries
You can’t take 10 paces through Mayfair without coming across an art gallery. On Albemarle Street, on the doorstep of Brown’s Hotel, fine art specialist Connaught Brown and private modern gallery Waterhouse and Dodd tempt visitors in with their impressive displays. Around the corner, historic Cork Street is filled with traditional names such as Messum’s and Victoria Miro Mayfair, while nearby Maddox Street is known for its contemporary art galleries, such as The Belgravia Gallery. On the streets in between, there are plenty of places to browse art of any type; if you’re collecting photography pass by Hamiltons Gallery, if you prefer sculpture visit Bowman Sculpture, or if modern art inspires visit Aktis Gallery or Gazelli Art House for a more British feel.
With so many galleries to explore in Mayfair, knowing where to go is essential, especially if time is limited. For an in-depth exploration of a selection of Mayfair’s leading galleries, join one of Brown’s Hotel’s art tours. Each is hosted by a local expert, such as a gallery director, who takes guests on a personal tour of four of their favourite galleries and shows. Ideal for visiting art enthusiasts, the experience opens doors to an exclusive art world as tour leaders take guests to privileged spaces such as ‘appointment only’ offices and studies. Participants also receive refreshments and a three-course lunch at HIX Mayfair. Upcoming tour dates include 1, 2 and 3 July, 17 September, 9 October and 5 November 2016.
A highlight of London’s annual events calendar, Brown’s London Art Weekend invites art enthusiasts from around the world to discover the best of Mayfair’s art scene. The festival, led by Brown’s Hotel, will see more than 60 private galleries and auction houses open their doors for a programme of special events and exhibitions from 1 to 3 July 2016. The event begins with an evening of gallery previews on 1 July, where attendees will enjoy out-of-hour access to many of Mayfair’s leading galleries followed by a celebration at Burlington Arcade. The second day is led by the Royal Academy of Arts, which hosts a free daytime arts festival, the RA Burlington Gardens Festival, followed by Summer Nights at the RA, an evening of drinks and special late-night viewings of anticipated shows such as the Summer Exhibition. Throughout the weekend, Brown’s Hotel will be hosting art tours as well as a busy programme of talks during which enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to come face-to-face with, and learn from, esteemed experts and artists.
Continue your art tour at Brown’s Hotel, where art is part of the foundations. Keep an eye out for Terrance Donovan’s photography at The Donovan Bar and the changeable art displays at The English Tea Room.
Image credits: women in gallery © iStock/Peopleimages, men in gallery © iStock/TommL