Meet the Muse: Adelaide Harcourt’s Collection at the Perry Lane Hotel
We’d like to introduce you to Adelaide Harcourt, a seventh generation Savannian. She comes from a long line of financiers with a penchant for collecting, and as the sole living member of her family, she’s determined to gift the arts legacy of her family to the city of Savannah through sharing her collection of family heirlooms, travel mementos, and contemporary artwork with the recently-opened Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah.
Adelaide is a wordly, idiosyncratic grand dame brimming with sophistication. Her life and her art are richly textured and representative of a fully-lived life, and the authentic collection contributes to the hotel’s refreshing take on luxury
There’s a catch though. Turns out, Adelaide isn’t real. She was created as a fictional character by the creative team at NINE dot ARTS as we curated the hotel’s extensive art collection.
The story of Adelaide is a rich reflection of our commitment to curate inspiring art collections that tell a story. Leveraging the story of Adelaide to develop an authentic collection from the perspective of a single collector has translated into a one-of-a-kind opportunity to transform how people will experience the art.
It’s also a showcase of how art and our uniquely-tailored approach to curation can support our hospitality clients looking to differentiate themselves to attract consumer attention. The luxury Perry Lane Hotel has done just that through its unique approach to curating the guest experience by letting the art tell a story to begin the journey in immersing oneself in all that is Savannah.
In total, the collection features 3,600 unique objects and antiques, more than 1,200 total artworks, and more than 175 original artworks including one work by Paul Gauguin alongside 81 artists with ties to the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Take a tour of featured pieces in the collection in the words of Adelaide herself below!
Flora by Deborah Brown | oil on canvas
My mother’s family had a tradition of commissioning portraits of the bride for wedding gifts. Once I moved back home to help my parents, my mother would sigh and wonder aloud when my time for a sitting would come. I decided to take fate into my own hands. That Christmas I commissioned a young artist I’d met in Bushwick, Deborah Brown, to create this piece as a gift for my mother. Deborah has a way of scrambling past and present, reality and imagination that I adore. She saw in me not only a kind of reserved resignation but also a patient strength, a contained energy. I hung it on the mantel after my parents had gone to bed with a big, red, velvet bow. The next morning, my mother held my face between her hands and said with a smile, “I’ve always thought you’re perfect as you are my sweet girl.” Whenever I see the piece, I’m filled with the same warmth and love as on that Christmas morning.
River Road: Milepost 16 by Holly Andres | chromogenic dye coupler print
This image arrested my heart. Suddenly I was twenty-one again, headed back to New York City for good that time, or so I thought, on my way to becoming the next great modern dancer. I love the cinematic quality of the photograph, the sexy way the cigarette smoke curls, how the light just barely kisses the tips of the woman’s fire-engine red nails. It’s a scene straight out of Hitchcock and yet deeply embedded in my muscle memory, and the allure of the open road, the excitement of an uncharted future, the freedom of escaping the past. It’s pregnant with nostalgia and possibility. I see the vulnerability and tenderness of a young woman laid bare.
Figure drawings on paper by SCAD students
When I moved home from New York, I spent much of my time with my Aunt Nellie. She and I shared a love of art and beauty. We especially loved to meet the budding artists at SCAD. We would go to the students’ shows together and Aunt Nellie would often purchase some of their art. Some of these drawings were Aunt Nellie’s and the rest I commissioned from the students recently in her honor. I love the raw representations of the human figure, and I am equally drawn to the potential of these young artists’ fresh ideas and passion.
Career Girl by Anna Church | photograph
This piece spoke to me immediately. I was struck by the beauty of the zebra and the simple, monochromatic pattern of the shoes around his neck. However, the work itself kept pulling me back because I knew there was symbolism behind those shoes. The artist says, “As her role in society has evolved, so have her career and footwear choices. Once upon a time, if the nursing shoe fitted, she would just have to grin and wear it.” I have witnessed these changes in women’s lives firsthand, from growing up in the 50s and 60s to today, when the role of women is ever-changing while our voice becomes stronger. It is a remarkable thing to witness and be a part of as a woman, and I love that this piece wraps it all up with its unassuming beauty.
From my time in New York and from the many trips I took with my Aunt Nellie, each playbill is special. It is not just paper, but a memory, which lasts much longer. With each playbill, there is a story. Whether I was with a date, a friend, or my aunt, we would share an evening worth remembering. These playbills each embody a classic New York night filled with good food, fancy cocktails, and extraordinary entertainment alongside wonderful company.
The Island by Kevin Sloan | reproduction from original painting
Kevin Sloan’s art is fascinating as it pulls you into these lovely, surreal little worlds that present more questions than answers. I was originally drawn to this painting because I adore peacocks, but then was intrigued by the beautiful details and the seductive symbolism. I love how Kevin plays with the relationship between nature and modern reality. The lushness and theatricality are meant to ask questions and start conversations about the role of nature in our modern, technological and always-changing world. I pondered this recently as I approach the end of my life and want to slow down, yet our world seems to be rushing and running from one thing to the next. I hope to savor the beauty in the details of nature and my life, especially now, and live in the moment.
Civil War Bullets
These bullets are more than objects to me. They remind me of my father and his magnificent imagination. I begged for his stories at bedtime. When Daddy was a young boy, he loved nothing more than to explore his family’s cherished land around Milledgeville, where a beautiful home stood, built after the Civil War since the old plantation was burned by Sherman’s troops… “I was out adventuring, this time pretending I was in the Civil War with my trusted musket (which I carved from a long, skinny branch). I was crawling through the tall, rough grass on a mission. We were trying to find the Union camp so we could report back to our commander, perhaps to make a surprise attack the next day…” Daddy’s stories were so elaborate that I felt like I was there. On one of his adventures, as he was crawling, his elbows dug into something hard in the dirt. He had unearthed actual bullets from the Civil War! Some of them had been used because they were a darker color, some not yet used. Oh the stories that accompanied these tiny pieces of metal and filled my dreams!