The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
Case Study

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel

San Francisco, CA Collaborators Gensler Austin Featured Artist Mya Kerner, Laura Stewart, Baldvin Ringsted, Corrie Sullivan, Nicholas Biddle, Tiffany Lusteg Highlights Large-scale textile wall hanging made of embroidery thread in the colors of the nearby San Francisco Bay Project Scope Public spaces, guest rooms and suites
Built for guests attending the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, this grand dame of San Francisco needed art that would bring the past to life and welcome in the future of The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel

Focusing on vintage charm and classic 1920s San Francisco themes, KBAA’s hospitality art advisors curated a beautiful art collection across all areas of the hotel, including public spaces and guestrooms.

Several pieces of commissioned, original artwork are the jewels in the crown of this newly renovated hotel. Artist Corrie Sullivan’s layered paper sculpture entitled “Feathered Bliss” welcomes business visitors into the boardroom of The Clift, looking like a framed tapestry of speckled feathers. Artist Tiffany Lusteg’s woven artwork “Azure” can be found in the hotel’s elevator lobby, a piece that evokes the blue and gray of mountains swathed in marine layer.

Still more textile can be found in the art by Nick Biddle whose piece “Rough Creek” incorporates layered strips of linen and resin onto wood. In the library lounge of The Clift, textile artist Laura Stewart’s piece entitled “Ebb & Flow” is a sculpture of embroidery thread evoking the nearby bay with its light and dark grays, soft blues, and a touch of green. Sculptural artist Baldvin Ringsted’s deconstructed gold leafed mirror puts an unexpected spin on staid, ornately framed mirrors.

In the guest rooms and corridors of The Clift, giclées featuring San Francisco city life from the time of the property’s founding are the dominant decorative theme. Iconic vintage photographs of the Palace of Fine Arts, the Golden Gate Bridge, City Hall, and the seal of the Pacific International Exposition from 1915 serve as attractive postcards to the area’s past.

Nods to the natural beauty of the Bay Area can be found across all areas of The Clift’s new art collection. Artist Mya Kerner’s pairs of abstract wire California Redwood groves flank the entrance to the pre-function room, which also features a gallery wall of circular photographs of the nearby rocky coast. The moody grays and blues of Pacific Ocean dominate the remaining pieces in The Clift’s new art collection, ensuring that guests never lose sight of the beauty and history of the city by the bay.

San Francisco is such an exciting, elegant and storied city. Having the opportunity to work on a property right in the heart of the city and give it a new look to carry it into its next hundred years was an exciting challenge. I think with its mixture of original artwork and lush giclées, The Clift’s art collection is truly spectacular.

– Allison M. Barry, President, Kevin Barry Art Advisory

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