49-51 Chambers will be a permanent home for the “digital arts”

There’s been noise about this for a while, but I couldn’t get the full story till now: the French firm Culturespaces is in the process of converting the teller hall of 49 Chambers — the old Emigrant Savings Bank just west of Centre that was recently converted to condos — into a permanent home for immersive digital art displays. The inaugural show, “Gold in Motion,” will be dedicated to the work of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. (Of course you can go see real Klimts at the Neue Galerie any time you want.)

The space will be called the Hall des Lumières; Culturespaces created the Atelier des Lumières in Paris and does this sort of work across the globe, where they convert historic spaces into permanent art destinations. The old teller haul and vault is 33,000 square feet on ground floor and basement of the 17-story Beaux-Arts skyscraper, which was built in 1912 and landmarked in 1985. (You can read the designation report here, which has the whole history of the site. As far as I can tell the interiors were not landmarked, which makes it surprising that so much of it was preserved.)

The digital art will be “glowing, animated, 30-foot-high custom displays of images from celebrated paintings, synchronized to a soaring original musical soundtrack and perfectly mapped to the richly decorated marble walls, towering columns, stained glass skylights and coved ceilings.” The show will switch out every 10 to 12 months. The founder of the company, said the goal is to “encourage and deepen people’s encounters with the artworks in museums.”

When the show opens there will also be a shorter digital experience based on the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser as well as a presentation on the history pf the bank.

I will try to get in there soonish.



  1. There’s a story about a couple who went to see a (real) Van Gogh show at a museum and they were disappointed.

  2. FINALLY. I find it hard to appreciate art unless it’s projected across every surface of the room I’m in and stretched to a point where the original image is distorted, making it impossible to actually perceive it in the way the artist intended.

    Hoping that the Met Opera will eventually issue a La Traviata NFT collection.