View From the Plaza

Restoring La Fonda’s Artwork is a Labor of Love

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!

Pre-restoration

Restored!

 

We invite you to come by La Fonda and take a look for yourself!

8 Responses to “Restoring La Fonda’s Artwork is a Labor of Love”

  1. Sherry Freeman

    Hi Jenny: Thanks so much for all that you do for the La Fonda. I love getting your updates and information. We love the La Fonda and will be there this August, 2012. Santa Fe is such a splendid city. We have come every summer for years. Love this art work as well. Sherry Freeman, Fredericksburg, Texas.

    Reply
    • Jenny Kimball

      Sherry, please stop by and introduce yourself next time you are staying with us. I would love to meet you in person.

      Reply
  2. Arnold Berke

    Congrats on the map restoration. The before and after contrast is amazing. And knowing Cassidy’s 10 paintings are also restored and protected is great news, indeed.

    Reply
    • Jenny Kimball

      So when are you coming back to Santa Fe and La Fonda to see it in person?

      Reply
  3. caesar amaya

    AS AN ART RESTORER MYSELF I KNOW HOW IMPORTAN IT IS TO CONSERVE OIL PAINTINGS OR ANY OTHER ART WORK. I LOOK FOWARD TO SEE THE IMPROVMENT PROBABLY IN SEPTEMBER. WE HAVE BEING GOING TO SANTA FE FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS AND THE LAST 5 YEARS WE HAVE STAYED AT LA FONDA.I AND MY WIFE MATGARET RUTH ARE FROM DALLAS TX. THE PIPES FROM FORT WORTH ARE OUR FRIENDS AND THEY ALSO STAY AT LA FONDA AND THEY LOVE ART.

    Reply
    • Jenny Kimball

      Let me know what you think once you get to see the paintings in person.

      Reply

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