Georgia O’Keeffe is an icon of art and style, so it’s only fitting that The Merchant, one of Salem’s most stylish hotels, pays tribute to the artist while her work is on view at the Peabody Essex Museum.
The Merchant is offering a special Georgia O’Keeffe package for the duration of the PEM’s exciting exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style, which is on view at the museum through April 1. Guests who book the package will also receive two tickets to the PEM, including access to the O’Keeffe exhibit, that are valid any day.
And, in the spirit of The Merchant’s “expect the unexpected” ethos, guests who book the package will also receive a Georgia O’Keeffe adult coloring book and a package of colored pencils, perfect for wherever inspiration strikes.
“Everyone leaves inspired,” says The Merchant’s general manager, Jennifer Rein. “I think that’s Georgia.”
That The Merchant is offering such a package is extremely fitting, not only for its close proximity to the PEM, which is just a few blocks away, but also because both Georgia O’Keeffe and The Merchant are known for their distinct style.
In the case of The Merchant, the 11-room boutique hotel—which was built in 1784 by wealthy sea merchant Joshua Ward and designed by legendary architect Samuel McIntire—boasts thoroughly modern décor while paying homage to its roots.
“I think that we honor the house, we honor the history of the house, and the land that it’s on,” Rein says.
Nods to that history are everywhere, from the original Samuel McIntire woodwork and staircase, to wallpaper that recalls the murals that would have been painted on walls in old homes, to Asian-inspired upholstery and antiques that pay homage to the trade in spices and silks that made Salem a seafaring powerhouse.
The Merchant’s central location on Washington Street is also perfect for exploring Salem on foot, with the PEM, Derby Wharf, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the House of the Seven Gables in one direction, and the beautiful Chestnut Street and McIntire Historic District in the other.
“The furthest thing that you would do is a 15-minute walk,” Rein says.
The Merchant is not just for out-of-towners; far from it. Rein says locals from nearby cities and towns frequently stay for a fun night out, visiting the PEM and walking back and forth to one of Salem’s many restaurants for a great dinner and a bottle of wine.
The PEM’s Georgia O’Keeffe: Art, Image, Style exhibition is a special one, since it’s the first to explore her artwork alongside her image and personal style through her paintings, photographs, and exquisitely designed and meticulously styled clothing.
It’s an exhibition that’s as transporting to the New Mexico landscape and O’Keeffe’s imagination as The Merchant is to the sense of history and mystery that permeate Salem.
“As busy as Salem is, you still can feel that history,” Rein says. “You feel like you stepped back in time.”