September 4, 2013
Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai is attracting art collectors and enthusiasts with special Art Week events and an auction dedicated to the work of Indian artist Francis Newton Souza.
The "Francis Newton Souza: Works from the Collection of Keren Souza Kohn" will be hosted in conjunction with the auction house Saffronart and features more than 100 lots. Helping to illuminate India's art scene with a breakthrough auction will likely earn the respect of Indian consumers and pique the interest of cosmopolitan travelers.
"We believe the artists as well as art curators and collectors in Mumbai and across India would be keen on the Art Week as an event along with the live auction," Neha Wasnik, director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, Mumbai.
"Francis Newton Souza is a well renowned and celebrated artist and his work has resonated through decades in India and the world at large," she said
Into the canon
Art Week at Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai by Saffronart begins with an auction preview on Sept. 5 and concludes with the auction on Sept. 11. Art appreciation course modules and expert talks will be held Sept. 7-9 at the hotel.
Piece by Mr. Souza
The live auction will enable both room and online bidding, which will likely influence the participation of international consumers.
The auction spans Mr. Souza's career and features oil paintings, water colors, drawings and chemical alterations. An illustrated catalog with an introduction by Francesca Souza and Keren Souza Kohn, as well as several previously unseen photographs and letters from the Souza family collection will accompany the auction.
Guests can enroll in a comprehensive Art Appreciation Course to learn about the emergence, evolution, practice and business of art in India. Evening talks by experts from around the country will also be available to further address these areas and deconstruct the complexities of Indian art.
Piece by Mr. Souza
Instructors and speakers include art historian Yashodhara Dalmia, art historian Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, cultural theorists Nancy Adajania, editor of Art India Abhay Sardesai, CEO of Saffronart Dinesh Vazirani and art curator Nathaniel Gaskell.
By the end of the course, participants will be familiar with art terms, artists’ styles, and movements relevant to art practices in India. It will also equip the participant to gauge the relative value of work in context to period, style and overall quality.
Something to reflect upon
Other luxury hotels draw guests by catering to artistic sensibilities.
For instance, Baglioni Hotels’ Regina Baglioni, Rome is escalating the exclusive aura of its Roman Penthouse Suite by featuring 26 pieces from nine young and established contemporary artists.
The “Luxury is not a Waste” exhibit contains pieces crafted in Italy and aims to lure in guests who are art aficionados. The exhibition’s wide range of artists and emphasis on Italian art may attract guests who hunt for exclusive experiences (see story).
Also, New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel is partnering with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to court same-sex couples with a package where proceeds support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
The “GLAAD You’re Here” package brings guests on a champagne tour of its art collection and other romantic amenities. As same-sex marriage becomes widely accepted and championed, it is important for progressive hotels to recognize this lucrative consumer segment with specialized packages (see story).
In addition to the introduction of the compressed art week, Four Seasons Mumbai champions artists throughout the year.
"Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai has been involved in and initiated a revolving art exhibition that runs through the hotel," Ms. Wasnik said.
"This revolving work of art transforms into a different group of artists every two months," she said.
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York