Hotels make use oftapestries to transform their public rooms and stairways. Similar to paintings, tapestries can enhance both traditional and contemporary interiors while depicting scenes from the past at the same time. There are a number of hotels that own and showcase famous tapestries. Some hang in the property for years on end and other hotels host exhibitions.
The Carlyle hotel in New York, famous for accommodating guests of high status including John F Kennedy, Princess Diana, Woody Allen. It has a fantastic collection of tapestries from the Gobelins including “Le Chameau”, a tapestry depicting a scene in the new Indies that sold for over $100 000.00 and now hangs in the hallway for all the guests to see. Most long attending guests remember the Kennedy children playing underneath the tapestries when they were young. It is also the last place where John F. Kennedy Jnr. ate breakfast before his fatal plane accident.
Beginning the journey from the left-hand side of the window, the Bayeux Tapestry of the Bar Room reveals the story of a fleet of tall ships struggling in a storm, their cargo of beer barrels thrown into the sea, whilst their crew of monks holds onto them for dear life. The mural continues behind the bar to show the beer barrels being washed up on shore, and eventually making their way back to their home - a beer hall, where monks, ladies, and other patrons enjoy the merriness of the beer that has now been saved.
The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida has two early tapestries from the Southern Netherlands hanging in The Tapestry Bar. In the reception hall, there is an exquisite Beauvais tapestry,The See-Saw. The image depicts four young blond children playing in a colorful, lush garden. The two in the foreground play with the see-saw while the other two play horse riding and sword fighting.
The George V in Paris has 17th and 18th century Brussels tapestries inLa Galerie.The exquisite Salon Louis XIII inside the hotel - a room for meetings and galas - features a unique 18th-century Aubusson tapestry.
In Le Bristol, Paris there is a diverse selection of tapestries including an excellent collection ofTeniers from the workshops of Guillaume Werniers.Teniers, a painter, was famous for his scenes with peasants. They were so well known that compositions with this subject came to be called 'tenierkens' ('small teniers') and tapestries with peasant scenes were referred to as 'Teniers tapestries'.
Several people tour the Chateau d'Angers just to see its splendid tapestries. The Apocalypse Tapestries are famous for being the longest in the world stretching 104 meters. The story is split into six ‘chapters’, following the last chapter of the New Testament of St. John about the Apocalypse. In a group of foreshadowing visions, it tells of the return of Christ, his triumph over evil, and the end of the world. Each of the six chapters has a person seated on a dais reading the ‘Revelations’ creating a sense of imagery for those who were listening at the time.
The hotel has its very own Tapestry Gallery where a set of artworks called “The Triumph of the Seven Virtues” hang proudly. Created in Flanders between 1525-1535, it is made from wool and silk. These compositions were designed to show how the seven virtues−faith, prudence, charity, chastity, temperance, fortitude, and justice−would always prevail over vice. No one knows precisely who commissioned the tapestries or where they hung originally, but it’s speculated that they were probably displayed in a palace somewhere in Europe.
The virtues are represented through biblical stories and symbols that would have been familiar to society during sixteenth-century Europe. But to twenty-first-century eyes, the significance of the figures in the tapestry can be a bit puzzling.
The Scottish Diaspora tapestries were on exhibition in the Crieff hotel in Scotland after having been on a world tour. The tapestries depict famous Scottish stories like the Jacobite battles, ceilidh dancing, and tales about famous Scottish figures. There are also more personal stories about love, tea races, and Scottish surgeons, making the panels very varied.
The project brought together over 1000 people in 34 different countries through story and weaving. People aged anywhere between 12 and 90 joined in to make the panels, and it’s said that as many as 75,000 hours of embroidery went into making it.
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