Casinos are increasingly turning to art as an additional draw for customers, from large tigers and neon rainbows to eye-catching pieces that add character and atmosphere.
Broderick points out that artists like Banksy and Bob and Steve Ross have become popular enough to appeal to a broad audience outside the traditional fine-arts realm.
1. Dogs at the Poker Table
Are You A Dog Lover? Chances are good you have seen the iconic Dogs Playing Poker painting at some point – its reproduction has appeared on mugs, postcards and even Snoop Dogg’s song about it has made headlines! – and have seen them in person either at a bar, restaurant or wall hanging somewhere around town! The paintings have become widely recognized yet few know their creator – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge from Virginia was an American painter born in 1844 who created them all!
He first created his iconic Poker Game painting in 1894. Soon thereafter he completed sixteen other pictures featuring dogs in human contexts such as Masonic initiations and courtroom testimony; these paintings became so wildly popular they were widely considered “kitsch”, or low-class art; nonetheless baby boomers rediscovered and adopted them into pop culture as part of the art tradition. Additionally, A Bold Bluff and Waterloo (1903) feature short yet dramatic narratives featuring Saint Bernards placing bets against pairs of deuces; leaving opponents to determine whether or not they bluff is.
2. The Bellagio Fountains
The Bellagio Fountains are an essential stop when visiting Las Vegas. Every evening, over 1,200 dancing streams choreographed to music are displayed across a quarter-mile lake fronting the hotel; free for all to view! These unique shows have become iconic of Las Vegas.
WET Design designed a remarkable aquatic achievement known as WET Drift which stands as one of the world’s most ambitious water features ever conceived. A team of people work 365 days per year to keep this water feature operational – they may repair equipment, chase wildlife away or retrieve items someone dropped into the river such as an enormous catfish someone set free one time!
The fountain shows are choreographed to various musical pieces and feature spectacular displays that shoot water up to 460 feet high. Visitors often throw coins into the water as an act of good will; each year the maintenance crew collects two tons of coins as well as keys, phones, casino chips and wedding rings from visitors throwing money or objects into it to make wishes come true!
3. The Hippodrome
At its height, the Hippodrome served as more than just a place to watch chariot racing: it also served as the voice and meeting ground of its populace. Chariot racing brought together city elites as well as being watched over by an Emperor himself who would watch from his lodge perched atop of the theater and provide comments either way from above.
Frederic Thompson and Elmer Dundy built the Hippodrome in Coney Island after experiencing enormous success with Luna Park – their Coney Island entertainment center featuring canals, rides, towers and sideshows that first opened its doors in 1903 until mid 1940’s.
The Hippodrome theater was an extravagant spectacle with a grand stage twelve times larger than an average Broadway theater. Following live performances’ decline, its stage became available for large rallies and swing concerts featuring Jimmy Durante as well as Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington among many other artists.
4. The Cosmopolitan
Steve Wynn’s Mirage changed that. Before it opened its doors in 2006, casinos weren’t known for emphasizing fine art as much; rather they focused on such entertainment as an hourly erupting volcano or Siegfried and Roy’s white tigers or Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas as forms of culture within its walls.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is renowned for prioritizing art as part of its culture and environment. Their digital art program includes screens, panels and displays throughout their property; for instance eight 15-foot columns in their lobby regularly showcase digital art from around the world while another panel running along their check-in desk offers up curated digital pieces from a library.
At this resort, celebrity chefs such as Jose Andres and Eric and Bruce Bromberg feature three restaurants. Production troupe Spiegelworld currently presents Opium: An Interstellar Adventure aboard Uranus Spaceship from Uranus; however, what has really captured people’s imagination at the hotel is its one-of-a-kind chandelier lounge constructed with three stories tall chandeliers made up of seven million crystals.