The Carlyle is an integral part of New York history. As the city’s premier luxury residential hotel, it was a famous gathering place for socialites, world leaders and celebrities when Ludwig Bemelmans began to create his masterpiece murals at the hotel bar. Bemelmans was a successful artist for The New Yorker, Vogue and Town and Country and had achieved enormous success with the Madeline children’s books series. Using his distinct style of art, he transformed the bar with whimsical scenes of Central Park that included picnicking rabbits and ice skating elephants. Rather than be paid for his art, Bemelmans exchanged his work for a year and a half of accommodations at The Carlyle for himself and his family.