One of the great things about coming to work at La Fonda every day is being surrounded by an impressive collection of art. It’s part of what gives La Fonda its character. Maintaining the collection is a point of pride, not just for me, but for our entire board and staff. Ethel and Sam Ballen were avid art collectors and we are carrying on their tradition of collecting Native American Art.
But what about the art that has been a part of La Fonda’s collection for decades – some pieces from as early as the 1920’s? The vibrancy of many paintings was covered up by years of cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke and the trail dust of guests from days gone by. We felt it was time to restore them to their former glory and allow our current and future guests the chance at seeing them as close to their original condition as possible.
We recently commissioned John Andolsek of Andolsek Restoration to restore ten large canvasses by Gerald Cassidy (1879-1934). They were completed and returned to La Fonda’s walls a few months ago. In addition to restoration, we had them reframed, and we replaced the glass with museum quality glass to help protect them for future generations.
The final Cassidy, also restored by Andolsek, is now complete – a large map of the Southwest that has been hanging in the Santa Fe Room. The painting originally hung in the Indian – detour booking office inside La Fonda and was used to show patrons the many locations on the tour. Restoration has revealed a few town names that were painted over and replaced. It looks amazing!
Here’s a look at the before and after!
We invite you to come by La Fonda and take a look for yourself!