Rubell Hotels: New Owners of Historic Baltimore Hotel, Part 2

The new owners of the Lord Baltimore Hotel, the Rubells, are deeply immersed in the art world, along with their investments in the hospitality industry. These seemingly disparate interests may not be as different as they appear to be – certainly the few select properties owned by Rubell Hotels constitute an art collection of another type.

The Rubells’ commitment to art is evident given how active they are in the art world. In addition to having their own museum to showcase their private art collection, the Rubells are also known for their support of artists of all levels. Mera Rubell spent some time with some Baltimore artists in October, as reported in Bmore Art:

“Over 150 artists entered the lottery to have the opportunity to have Mera Rubell visit their studio and these are a few of the lucky 36 selected. Ms. Rubell and Ms. Gold, Director of the WPA, were joined at points throughout their tour with notable arts professionals from local museums and galleries as well as members of the press from Baltimore and Washington, DC….

Ms. Rubell will be conducting the studio visits in her role as a curator for SELECT 2014, Washington Project for the Arts’ 33rd annual art auction exhibition, taking place at Artisphere in Rosslyn, VA from February 27 through March 21, 2014.”

A 2010 video interview with Mera and her husband Don about their art collection can be found here. Some background on the collection:

“The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) was started in New York in 1964 when Don and Mera Rubell were first married. Since 1993 it has been displayed in Miami at its current, 45’000 square-foot location, and it first opened to the public in 1994. Since then, the Rubell Family Collection has been recognized as the pioneer of what is often referred to as the “Miami model,” whereby private collectors create a new, independent form of public institution.”

And in a more recent interview, Don discussed their new exhibit that just opened in Miami. Andrew M. Goldstein of Artspace writes:

“Now, the Rubells are poised to reaffirm their own influence with a new show—this time focusing on the younger generation of artists who are working in China.

Opening during this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach week, “28 Chinese” is the latest in a distinguished lineage of shows that have broadcast the latest developments in Chinese contemporary art to Western eyes, going back to the Asia Society‘s “Inside Out: New Chinese Art” show in 1998—which made a star of Zhang Huan and other artists—and Harald Szeemann‘s 1999 Venice Biennale, which featured 20 Chinese artist, including that year’s Golden Lion winner, Cai Guo Qiang. Now, however, with China’s own collecting class on the rise and its artists evolving in new directions, Western buyers are beginning to look past the famous names searching for rising talent—a hunt made all the more challenging by the geographic, political, and cultural gulfs in play.

With the new show, the Rubells have done a remarkable service for their fellow collectors (as well as artist, critics, and curators), gathering together work by artists they discovered in the course of multiple journeys through China’s disparate art scenes including scores of studio visits.”

Have you stayed at the Lord Baltimore or at one of the Rubells’ other hotels? Email and tell us all about it!