The Tiffany Flagship’s Blue-Chip Fine Art Collection

With pieces by James Turrell, Damien Hirst, Sarah Sze, and Anish Kapoor, there’s so much art packed inside the heritage brand’s ten-floor palace in Midtown Manhattan that jewelry almost takes a back seat.

In 1958, Mark Rothko famously rejected a $35,000 ($327,000 in today’s money) offer to paint a 600-square-foot mural inside The Four Seasons, one of New York City’s swankiest restaurants. A Latvian-born immigrant noted for his frugality, Rothko thoroughly hated his experience dining there, promptly returning the money and grumbling that “anyone who will eat that kind of food for those prices will never look at a painting of mine.” But times and attitudes change. Where haughty art-world figures once bristled at the idea of consumerism, others are embracing it.

Case in point: Tiffany’s new flagship. Following its acquisition by LVMH three years ago, the French conglomerate has been diligently modernizing the jeweler’s image to attract a more youthful clientele, including a series of collaborations to bolster sales and inject the brand with some buzz. The effort extends to its ten-floor “Landmark” on Billionaire’s Row, which recently unveiled a tip-to-toe redesign by architect Peter Marino and OMA’s Shohei Shigematsu featuring an extensive collection of fine art ranging from arched window frames glowing with Oyoram Visual Composer’s animation of a bird-friendly Manhattan skyline to Daniel Arsham’s faux-deteriorated Venus of Arles replica mimicking his riff on the Blue Box.

The standout is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting Equals Pi, which Tiffany executive and LVMH scion Alexandre Arnault deployed in a viral ad campaign starring Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Given the work’s uncanny shade of Tiffany blue, Arnault suggested the anticapitalist Basquiat intended the work as an “homage” to the jeweler; the artist’s confidantes disagree. Most of the pieces, which were purchased, commissioned, or borrowed by the brand, are also blue, though the top floor’s Tiffany Gallery is displaying key works from the Peter Marino Art Foundation for the next two months. They deviate from the Tiffany formula—bronze Lalanne sheep grazing on astroturf are a clear highlight—except for a Julian Schnabel portrait of Marino painted on broken dishes. Whether you’re planning to shop or take in the scenery, make sure to stop by Daniel Boulud’s Blue Box Café for the special “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” menu.

All images courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

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