Winter Park Artescape, Part 1 of 2

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Alex Katz’s painting Amanda and Kyle makes for a first impression at The Alfond Inn’s lobby, one of 400 artworks comprising the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, established by Barbara and Theodore Alfond. Owned by Rollins College, The Alfond Inn was established with a philanthropic mission, the hotel’s net income funds the Alfond Scholars program. “Within 25 years, we project the amount spent on student scholarships to reach $52 million while the endowment will aggregate to nearly $152 million,” wrote Ted Alfond, Rollins ’68, in the recent publication of Art for Rollins, Vol. III.

The Alfond Inn + OMA + Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall

In 2010, I visited The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park to find a 10-gallery, 12,000 square-foot wing under construction, planned to house The Morse’s immense collection of architectural elements, archival materials, and artworks salvaged from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall estate.

With Laurelton’s loggia installed at The Met, a gift in 1978 by the founders of the Winter Park museum, where better during these unsettled troubling times to sense the spirit of one artist’s lifelong quest than standing in the rebuilt Daffodil Terrace, the focal point for the world’s most comprehensive collection of Tiffany works.

Daffodil Terrace, c. 1920. Laurelton Hall, Oyster Bay. Library of Congress. David Aronow, photographer.
Daffodil Terrace, 2010, under construction. Morse Museum of American Art, courtyard. Winter Park.

At the nearby Alfond Inn, the hotel’s art collection, according to Ted Alfond, “has driven the accolades, ratings, and enthusiasm of visitors. The overall success of the enterprise is beyond what anyone had expected.” The Alfonds, along with curator Abigail Ross Goodman, have assembled an outstanding collection in association with Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum.  The art-of-the-moment acquisitions are intended “… to stimulate … new perspectives, new ways of seeing, and new ways to process what we are seeing,” according to Barbara Alfond, Rollins ’68. While the five-story, pet-friendly, 112-room boutique hotel has reduced its capacity, the hotel’s standards and staff have not slackened, attentive to guests’ every safety and health concerns. Barely a 2½ hour drive from Palm Beach, The Alfond Inn and Winter Park’s Park Avenue are an idyllic getaway from the South Florida swarm.

Amid the simulated illusions of Magic Kingdom and Jurassic Park, where for some inhaling pixie dust and water slide thrills are essential Florida souvenirs, the Orlando Museum of Art’s collections and exhibitions at Loch Haven Park are too often bypassed on the way to EPCOT. Open at 50% capacity, OMA’s Contemporary Art Collection is the largest section of the venue’s permanent collection, having established an Acquisition Trust in 1985. I was especially fascinated by Kerry James Marshall’s Untitled, 1999, a 50-foot long, 12-panel woodcut on paper.

October 20-21, 2020
The Alfond Inn
300 East New England Avenue

The Alfond Inn’s centerpiece, a conservatory with a domed glass ceiling, features the geometric mobile Cloud Cities- Nebulous Thresholds by artist Tomàs Saraceno.

Barbara and Ted Alfond commissioned Saraceno’s work “to the memory of their beloved younger brother Peter Gary Alfond, Rollins ’75.
Cloud Cities- Nebulous Thresholds by artist Tomàs Saraceno.
The Conservatory opens onto the gardens to the south and west.
The Alfond Inn, entrance. I landed in Winter Park as a flight of 2021 Bentleys was parking in front of the hotel for test drives by invited prospective buyers. Once designed as chauffeur-driven, today’s Bentley appears to place the owner behind the wheel.

2021 Bentleys, ready for a spin.
L. to r.: ADAM MATACK, Red Reader, 2010 … KIKI KOGELNIK, Red-Eyed, 1977.
MESCHAC GABA. Citoyen du Monde, 2012.
At the end of a ground-floor hall, the work of Lubaina Himid; to the right, John Giorno’s conceptual word-based artwork.
LUBAINA HIMID, Three Architects, Art of Diptych Close-Up-Ideas for Development, 2019.
CATHERINE YASS, Lighthouse (North north west Distant), 2011.
DANIEL RICH, Athens, 2017. (Detail shown, reflective hall lights did not permit photo of its 80 x 80 in. dimensions.)
LALLA ESSAYDI, Harem #1, 2009. Triptych.
Left: ALFREDO JAAR, Be Afraid of the Enormity of the Possible, 2015. Right: FRANCIS ALYS, Untitled, 1996. Diptych From the series The Liar, the copy of the Liar.
FIRELEI BAEZ, An Open Horizon (Of The Stillness Of A Mound), 2019.
JACK WHITTEN, E-Stamp IV (Five Spirals: For Al Loving), 2007.
Alex Katz’s painting is reflected in the foreground by a metal mirror artwork. Left: SARA VANDERBEEK, Metal Mirror V Magia Naturalis, 2013. Right: ALEX KATZ, Amanda and Kyle, 2016.
ALEX KATZ, Amanda and Kyle, 2018.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College. The Alfond Contemporary Art Collection is a part of The Cornell. Founded by Jeannette Genius McKean, The Cornell was first built as the Morse Gallery of Art, where the first significant exhibition of Tiffany’s work was staged in 1955, Works of Art by Luis Comfort Tiffany.
Sunset at the Alfond Inn’s second-floor swimming pool.
The incomparable Alfond Inn where Art matters.

Orlando Museum of Art
2416 North Mills Avenue
Loch Haven Park

Orlando Museum of Art, entrance.
OMA’s permanent collection consists of more than 2,400 objét d’art.
Voices & Conversations exhibition.
KERRY JAMES MARSHALL, Untitled, 1999. Three-panel detail of a 12-panel woodcut on paper artwork.
Kerry James Marshall’s 12-panel work is exhibited at a right angle.
KYLE MEYER, Unidentified 105a from “Interwoven” series, 2019.
JEFRE. Points of Connection, 2020. A former landscape designer, JEFRE’s large-scale site-specific installation in multiple galleries features a portfolio of the artist’s multimedia work complemented by stanzas from his poem Heart to Heart.
JEFRE, born Jeffrey Figueras Manuel, the artist.
JEFRE, “Virtual reality, where peace and love have the highest value, On a pedestal we view …”
JEFRE, Talking Heads (Collective Conscious Series/COVID-19), 2020.
JEFRE, Baks Series. “… represents the culture and identity of people who live in cities … figures as symbolic expressions …”
JEFRE, Baks Series.
JEFRE, What Does it Mean To Take A Knee?
LOUIS DEWIS. An Artist’s Life in France. Predominately a showcase for paintings between WW I and WW II, this extensive exhibition “places DeWis’ work in historical context and seeks to reestablish his role in the story of 20th-century Belgian and French art.”
LOUIS DEWIS, Path by the Tranquil River, c. 1910-1925.

Next: Artescape at Winter Park II: Tiffany at Laurelton Hall

Daffodil Terrace. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park.

Photography by Augustus Mayhew.

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