Art is in the DNA of The Alfond Inn at Rollins in Winter Park, the acclaimed hotel owned by Rollins College which uses all of its net profits to provide scholarships for deserving students. While it belongs to a rarefied category where art is integrated into the guest experience, The Alfond Inn stands alone as the only hotel in the United States that serves as the extension of a fine arts museum.
At every turn, from the entrance lobby to restaurant, lounge and corridors, The Alfond Inn was designed as the imaginative extension of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. The hotel maintains a rotating display of cutting-edge works from The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, a nearly 300 piece collection of contemporary art that was assembled and donated to The Cornell Fine Arts Museum by Rollins alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond.
“The Alfond Inn is a new paradigm for museum spaces,” says Ena Heller, the Bruce A. Beal director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, one of the country’s most lauded liberal arts colleges. “It expands the horizons and the definition of a museum, and takes the museum off campus.”
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art fosters a deeply synergistic relationship between the museum and the hotel. Art at The Alfond Inn is woven into every guest’s experience, thanks to inventive installations of works that can range from the eye opening to the provocative. For guests who want to explore the collection, there are audio tours, walking tours with a curator and even monthly happy hour events that combine the best of the collection and the hotel. Professors from Rollins College often hold classes within the hotel.
The collection, conceived as a “visual syllabus” for the college, includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed-media works by established and emerging artists, and is overseen by private curator Abigail Ross Goodman and Amy Galpin, Curator of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
The collection itself has been “curated with a point of view, highlighting the values of a liberal arts college,” says Ena Heller, “such as critical thinking, embracing different perspectives and art as a portal to knowledge. It’s part of Rollins College’s global citizenship mission.”
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art fits squarely into Winter Park’s century-old dedication to the fine arts. In addition to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the city is also home to the Polasek Museum and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which has the world’s most extensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Weekly Art Tours are complimentary and conducted every Sunday at 1 p.m. A Happy Hour Art Tour takes place on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. Audio guides are available at the front desk. For reservations and information call 407-998-8090, or visit the website at www.thealfondinn.com.