Did you know there’s an Andy Warhol in Wexford?
That’s not all. Wandering the hallways of Kelly’s Resort Hotel in Rosslare, I’m amazed to chance upon artworks by Louis le Brocquy, Rowan Gillespie and Tony O’Malley among countless others. This is no ordinary art collection. But then again, this is no ordinary hotel.
The collection dates back to the 1950s, when artist Kenneth Webb was invited to display his work in the hotel. Billy and Breda Kelly, the hotel owners, immediately noticed the impact of the modern paintings on their establishment. In the decades since, they and their son Bill Kelly (the current proprietor) have gone on to assemble one of Ireland’s most striking private art collections.
The Warhol silkscreen (top) features Debbie Harry, and sits overlooking the dance floor in the Ivy Room – where kids’ dance after their early evening tea, and showbands perform in the evening!
Taken as a body of work, the collection is astonishing for a four-star hotel – in fact, it would put many dedicated galleries in Ireland in the ha’penny place. Every corner you turn throws up some new masterpiece, some new invitation to engage. Two generations of collecting extend to world-class sculptures in the gardens too, including Rowan Gillespie’s Enigma (above).
Pól Ó Conghaile