July 20, 2009
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World-Class Art: Now Appearing in Hotel Lobbies
When you think of hotel artwork, your first thoughts may be of pastel beach scenes or still-life paintings of flowers and fruit. But at many of Orlando’s highly acclaimed hotels, the works of world-renowned artists adorn the public areas such as lobbies, restaurants, and spas. From Oriental vases to carved stone sculptures, 19th century oil paintings to artistic water features, trompe l’oeil murals to celebrity caricatures, Orlando hotels have a passion for immersing their guests in fine art.
At the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, stately lioness figures that once guarded thresholds of Chinese temples now greet guests as they enter the hotel. These decorative but historic works are just a few in the hotel’s amazing collection of more than 1,000 pieces of Oriental and Contemporary American artwork valued at an estimated $1 million. The hotel also has an impressive collection of contemporary American art.
While the Peabody chain of hotels may be most famous for its company of ducks, they aren’t the only thing to see. Art on display at the Peabody Orlando includes paintings from the mid-19th century, contemporary American works, and antique artifacts from around the world.
The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate follows a theme of “casual elegance,” displaying artworks by Zoe
Hersey, Betsy Eby, Robert Phillips, Jeremy Cline, and Mark Burleson in media ranging from canvas and tile to iron and glass.
Inspired by the quaint Ligurian fishing village that became a favorite getaway for Europe’s rich and famous, Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, A Loews Hotel, creates its unique ambiance with trompe l’oeil exteriors, a style used hundreds of years ago in Italian fishing villages. An elaborate dome, marble floors, and murals add to the spirit of the Mediterranean.
Jack’s Place, a fine dining restaurant in the Rosen Plaza Hotel, features an extensive collection of autographed caricatures of stars and dignitaries. The restaurant is named after Jack Rosen, father of hotel owner Harris Rosen, who graduated with a degree in art but went into the hotel business and worked at New York City’s famed Waldorf-Astoria for 30 years. While at the Waldorf, Jack perfected his craft by sketching the caricatures of the celebrity guests who agreed to sign these historic pieces of art.
At Walt Disney World, world-renowned architect Michael Graves designed the Swan and Dolphin hotels as works of art in themselves. Graves’ vision was to immerse guests in an underwater fantasy experience, including a cascading nine-story fountain that flows through five seashell-shaped troughs into a 54-foot clamshell.