Monday, July 06, 2009

Hotel La Fonda de Taos

We spent a delightful night at Hotel La Fonda de Taos, located right on the square in Taos. With over a century of colorful history it is the only hotel on the plaza. I selected it because of the famous art collection which the hotel is known for. It has also been a popular gathering spot in recent decades for writers, artists and film celebrities such as , Judy Garland, Georgia O’Keefe, Tennessee Williams, Robert DeNiro, Dennis Weaver, Dennis Hopper Peter Fonda, Julia Roberts, and numerous others. But even much earlier it was a place for artists to gather.

Back in 1898, two young artists, Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips, broke their wagon wheel just north of Taos on their way to Mexico. “Blumy” road into town on horseback with the broken wheel. He was so inspired by Taos that he ended up staying. The two artists founded the Taos Society of Artists.

Where did they hang out? The Hotel La Fonda de Taos of course, and many of their paintings ended up on the walls. Thus began the tradition of the hotel as an art center, a tradition that continues today with the Gallery La Fonda located in the hotel lobby. A later owner, Saki Karavas, a serious art collector, kept the tradition of the La Fonda as a center for the arts. Karavas was also a big fan of D.H. Lawrence and owned several first editions of his literary works. When Frieda Lawrence died in August of 1956 her estate, which included the Lawrence “Forbidden Art” paintings, passed on to her then husband Angelino Ravagli. Later that same year Angelino sold them to Saki .

Our room was true to the pueblo revival style with modern amenities. We had a truly authentic Taos experience!--Ruth Mitchell

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

No comments: