Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Room service

Imagine for a moment that John Key has to pop down to Dunedin for a couple of days. He’s taking his wife and they'll stay in the best hotel the city can offer. So what’s front-of-mind for the staffers organising the trip South? We know. Arranging for some great works of art to hang in their hotel room. Quick!  Call the Minister of Culture and Heritage (on second thoughts don’t bother, he’ll fill the place with Piera McCarthur #cheapshot #butwelldeserved). Hang on a moment. It was all a dream. An impossible dream.

But not impossible in Dallas back in November 1963 as you'd see if you visited the Amon Carter Museum. For the exhibition Hotel Texas the Museum has reassembled the works selected for the Kennedy’s suite 850 in Hotel Texas, Fort Worth. It was there they stayed the night before President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas . The President's room featured the more masculine oriented works by Thomas Eakins, Marsden Hartley and Charles M. Russell but ironically the couple didn’t get the ‘theming.’ The President slept in what was intended to be his wife’s room with Van Gogh's Road with Peasant Shouldering a Spade.

Images: Top, Hotel Texas November 1963. Bottom left the 'President's room' showing Thomas Eakins' famous painting Swimming and Charles M. Russell's Lost in a Snowstorm and bottom right the suite's living room featuring Lyonel Feininger's Manhattan II, Franz Kline's Study for Accent Grave and Spirit bird by Morris Graves. (source: Guardian)