Last night the wait was finally over. The iconic Maxfield Parrish painting The Pied Piper of Hamelin, gracing the bar of the Palace Hotel for over a century was once again unveiled. The painting commissioned in 1909 for the hotel’s reopening underwent an extensive restoration in New York. Its’ absence was strongly felt in the Pied Piper Bar & Grill since March.
During a private reception the Palace Hotel's General Manager, Christophe Thomas removed the drape covering the painting. Guests gasped and then applauded as the painting was revealed. The colors which seemed so vibrant prior to restoration, now popped. Details that were hazy were suddenly clear. It was as if we were gazing at the Pied Piper for the first time, a truly an amazing restoration. To celebrate the momentous occasion, guests were treated to a preview of the Unveiled cocktail, a vibrant red drink served in a flute and enjoyed an array of appetizers while mingling and admiring the return of the famous painting.
This is only the third time that the painting has left its’ hallowed space over the bar at the Palace: during Prohibition where it took up residence in the Rose Room, during the hotel’s three-year renovation in 1989 where it was displayed at the de Young Museum and in March for restoration. The Pied Piper is among the most important large-scale works that Maxfield Parrish created during his career.
Over the years, The Pied Piper had been exposed to smoke, liquid and outside elements that damaged the art. Conservators removed thick accumulations of superficial grime to uncover the true condition of the piece. The surface area was also highly discolored by a protective resin that had been applied to the art in later years. The aging resin had become opaque, diluting the vibrancy of color. The surface was thoroughly cleaned, and treated with a non yellowing, re-saturating varnish known for its successful aging properties. The clarity of the unforgettable, jewel-like color that Parrish is known for is now revealed.
The Palace Hotel is proud to welcome The Pied Piper home with ways for guests to celebrate this beloved work of art. The festivities will include an Unveiled Cocktail, Dining with The Pied Piper, an overnight package for guests to Spend the Night with The Pied Piper and a beautiful hand blown glass Pied Piper Holiday Ornament, more details can be found here. Toast the return of the Pied Piper with a cocktail inspired by the Parrish masterpiece. Unveiled is a delicious drink, layered with vivid color and served in a flute containing St. Germain Elderflower, Crème Yvette, Rosé sparkling wine and a dash of Angostura providing a sweet way to celebrate this unforgettable moment in Palace history. $12 in The Pied Piper Bar.
Spend an unforgettable Friday night at Pied Piper Live listening to old school jazz classics with Josh Klipp and the Klipptones and vocalist Emily Day. Don your fedora, dancing shoes and stylish threads for an evening of delicious food, signature cocktails and jazz.
The Palace Hotel is the place for any celebration. Enjoy Saturday Afternoon Tea and champagne in the lovely Garden Court or San Francisco’s most elegant jazz brunch every Sunday. Sip a martini or glass of bubbly in the Pied Piper Bar & Grill while enjoying the iconic Pied Piper painting. For a truly memorable evening book a room and enjoy all the amenities this historic hotel has to offer, including a beautiful indoor pool and spa.
Details: The Palace Hotel is located at 2 New Montgomery Street and is conveniently located for shopping in Union Square or business in the Financial District. Visit their website www.sfpalace.com for more information or to make a reservation.
©Karla Erovick 2013 article, photos
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