A warmly lit room with numerous shelves full of books and a small sign reading "Taschen Books"
Taschen Library at The Joule Photo by Dave Shafer
Large gears adorn a richly decorated hotel lobby
The Joule’s lobby Photo by Dave Shafer

The Joule

Dallas

Upon checking in to the Joule, marvel at the 14-foot spinning industrial gear by the front desk—preferably while sipping the glass of prosecco that the friendly staff pours you upon arrival. The gear is the anchor installation of a lobby brimming with fanciful, thought-provoking art. Among the pieces are the lobby’s many Italian glass mosaics by midcentury artist Millard Sheets. The mosaics’ human figures—reaching heavenward, making fire—were almost lost when the building that originally housed them was demolished. But the Joule’s billionaire oilman, film producer, and art collector owner Tim Headington saved, restored, and rehoused them in this neo-Gothic building turned swanky and supremely comfortable boutique hotel.

Headington’s personal art collection is always on rotation in the Joule lobby. Recent highlights include colorful oil paintings by art luminaries such as Paul Mogensen and Richard Phillips, and a 6-foot mirror designed like a Time magazine cover that hotel guests can pose in front of. Headington also brings in temporary site-specific installations, like the Texas-born Hass brothers’ 9-foot furry beast sculpture called King Dong, which sat in the middle of the lobby for several months. “Not only is the hotel in the heart of downtown, but it also borders the arts district,” says Headington’s art adviser, John Runyon. “Having the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art right there set the bar really high.”

Judging from his art selection, Headington has a sense of humor. Walk out the hotel’s gold-framed doors onto Main Street and you’ll see a 30-foot bloodshot eyeball also owned by Headington on the lawn across the street. Called The Eye, the fiberglass sculpture by Tony Tassett has become a downtown Dallas Instagram landmark. According to the concierge at the Joule, it’s also a punny retort: When Headington wanted to build on the site, city officials said his plans would be “an eyesore” and denied permitting. Now the sore eye of downtown Dallas watches over his hotel—testimony that sometimes art is the best response.

Rooms start at $375/night.
1530 Main St., Dallas.
214-748-1300;
thejouledallas.com

Art hotels aren’t just beautiful places to stay; gallery-worthy artwork is chief among their amenities.

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The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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