Why art, music and culture are key in hotels: Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Peter Blachley

BHN speaks to Morrison Hotel Gallery’s Peter Blachley about the company’s founders’ venture into the interior design market and why art, music and culture are key in hotels.

  • Can you tell us about the Morrison Hotel Gallery brand? What do you do and what groups of people do you serve? 

Morrison Hotel Gallery is the world leader in fine art music photography representing over 125 of the most highly acclaimed music photographers — those who made, and continue to make, an indelible mark on music culture with photographic portrayals of the industry’s most influential artists. Morrison Hotel Gallery curates hundreds of the world’s most exceptional collections of rare and iconic music photography for international exhibition and sale. Working with the photographers themselves, the family estates, and often legendary artists in music who are also photographers, Morrison Hotel Gallery brings to light unseen archives, drawing from a vast and growing catalogue of jazz, blues, and rock genres dating back to the 1940s and up to today’s contemporary artists. Hollywood and sports photographs are also included in many of the archives represented.

  • What inspired you to establish the brand in the first place? How have your backgrounds in the photography / music retail industries got you to this point?

The three founding partners have a history in music and a passion for music photography. Henry Diltz is an award-winning photographer who has shot over 400 album covers including The Doors, Morrison Hotel, Crosby Stills & Nash first album, Jackson Browne’s first album, the Eagles Desperado, and Eagles’ covers as well as many projects for countless other well-known musicians. Peter Blachley spent ten years at Capitol Records in Los Angeles as head of marketing and production for the video division producing projects for Duran Duran, John Lennon, and afterward, played a key role on the release of The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night and Help. Rich Horowitz ran San Diego’s most successful independent record store for many years and world-renowned photographer, author and director, Timothy White joined as a full partner a few years ago, rounding out the phenomenal team.

  • What has encouraged you to now venture into the interior design market? How does providing photography for hotels and lobbies differ from what you have been doing previously?

Our experience with the hotel brands that we are working with currently has taught us a lot about how hotel guests interact with iconic music photography. It’s the emotional and authentic connection the hotel can have with its customers that really makes an impact. The idea that music is just background noise will not define the future of boutique hotels. Instead, our images of great music performers can elevate the environment and add to the customer and guest experience.

  • With which interior design leaders are you now sharing your collections? How do you think your work can be of benefit to music and cultural enthusiasts in the hotel space?

Over the years we have sold our photograph collections to many celebrities for their personal homes and offices. We have a wonderful Jazz collection in two hotels in New York City. One in Tribeca and one in SoHo.

  • Are you seeing any particular trends in fine art music photography that are becoming increasingly popular in these hotel settings?

The main themes we see has a lot to do with how the property wants to present itself. Many times, this is in the design phase of the hotel so we can curate the spaces for specific needs and lighting. Great art and photography are not exclusive to trends but if chosen carefully can be timeless through generations.

  • What do you think is the significance of art, music, and culture branching into the interior design market? Is there anything that hotels can learn and gain from your own insights?

We find that the trend in many hotel designs is to create a space where their customers and guests want to spend more time inside the hotel and its rooms and amenities. Just like the comfort of a home, a hotel should be a warm and friendly environment that speaks to the tastes of its guests and surroundings.

Our range of music photography is a palette of taste and style, just like the music it represents. We can go from heroic to romantic to reflective to nostalgic. And that’s what we love to do.

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