Rosewood Hotel Georgia Debuts Collection of Modern Canadian Art

Marcel Barbeau “Naja” 2010, Oil on Canvas, over the Rosewood Hotel Georgia concierge desk.

The newly-restored Rosewood Hotel Georgia buzzed with eager aesthetes and accomplished artists last night as the hotel debuted their permanent collection of modern Canadian art. Curated and developed by Farmboy Fine Arts, the stunning collection is one of the largest private collections in Canada and includes masterpieces by emerging local talent alongside legends like Douglas Coupland, Alan Wood, Marcel Barbeau, Derek Root, Guido Molinari and Jack Shadbolt–fittingly across from the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The legendary Georgian Revival hotel opened its doors in 1927 and has hosted greats like Nat “King” Cole, Katharine Hepburn, Elvis, Louis Armstrong and Queen Elizabeth II. Although the Hotel Georgia’s eminence as luxury accommodation diminished as the decades wore on, it recently underwent a $120 million, four-year-restoration between 2007 and 2011, reopening with a bang in July. The refurbished interiors show off the original, glowing mahogany walls and feature show-stoppers like a dazzling 9.4-metre (31-foot) long chandelier in the lobby and an elegant armoire shaped bar in the lobby lounge.

Hotel Georgia Development Limited worked with Farmboy Fine Arts to create a modern art collection as a way to reassert the hotel’s present-day splendor in the context of the reverence for the hotel’s iconic past. Farmboy Fine Art’s president Todd Towers stayed true to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s mantra to create “A sense of place.” In order to do that, Towers selected and commissioned works by modern Canadian artists, focusing on West Coast artists in particular. Because the building interior is sombre in its sophistication, Towers chose pieces that would boldly stand out, placing pieces of art throughout the hotel from lobby, to spa, and  upper levels.

Highlights: Alan Wood’s work is featured directly behind the reception desk in the refurbished lobby. The three pieces are part of Wood’s bright “Garden Series” which uses the texture of collage and the colors of the British Columbian landscape to play with light against form.

Heading into the first floor lounge, you’ll come across the works of Canadian master Guido Molinari, who was strongly influenced by Mondrian and the Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s and 1960s. His work, which objectifies painting itself rather than featuring objects, is currently showcased in the National Gallery of Canada as well as in the MOMA in New York.

If you’re interested in seeing more, visit the lobby bar, Reflections Lounge, Hawksworth Restaurant or spa and keep your eyes peeled. The Rosewood Hotel Georgia offers a treasure hunt worth of serious visual stimulation.

Permanent collection at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia Street, 604-682-5566.

Have you visited and checked out the collection? Which pieces and/or Canadian artists stood out to you?

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