By Howard Pousner
Her art gallery was a destination in Atlanta for nearly three decades, and now Fay Gold is planning on taking tour groups to arty destinations.
Having closed her self-named Buckhead gallery last year, Gold is launching a new venture with Atlanta travel business executive Bram Majtlis — high-end European art tours. Their endeavor, Fay Gold Treasures, will take wing in May with a weeklong tour of Vienna. Visits to Amsterdam and Berlin also are being planned for 2011.
The groups will be small (20 to 25), the better to savor behind-the-scenes tours of museums, art fairs, private collections and artist studios. The price will be … well, not so small. The Vienna tour is $6,750 per person based on double occupancy.
But the freight is virtually all-inclusive, covering everything from five nights of luxury accommodations at the new Ring Hotel to multiple fine-dining meals and a packed art itinerary that includes stops at the Leopold and Albertina museums, Belvedere Palace (home to the famed Gustav Klimt painting “The Kiss”) and the Viennafair international contemporary art fair.
Majtlis feels the real selling point is the expertise and killer eye of Gold, who introduced countless Atlanta art lovers to the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring, among many rising art stars.
“Everybody can buy a ticket for $699 to Vienna and then see the major attractions,” he said. “But they would never see it through Fay’s eyes when it comes to art and my eyes when it comes to travel. You will look at art differently just because of Fay.”
Gold, who has continued working as an independent curator and art consultant while finishing a memoir of her life in the art biz, “Basquiat’s Cat,” said Majtlis’ offer arrived right on time. After the June passing of her husband of 56 years, Donald, she was open to a new chapter.
“This is a natural for me, and I look forward to experiencing it myself, because that keeps my brain cells regenerating and gives me a chance of staying young forever,” said Gold, who declines to reveal her age though she could have passed for 50-something in a recent spread on homes of the city’s “tastemakers” in The Atlantan magazine.
“I love to talk about art, and people going on these tours want to learn,” she added. “They go to many museums, but there’s no one to teach them.”
That’s where their personal curator comes in. But the venture also will draw on the deep European connections of Majtlis, president of Atlanta-based International Marketing Travel Concepts, a European tour booker founded in 1992. IMTC runs the Austrian Airlines Vacation Center, creates tailor-made group tours for schools, churches and clubs, and even orchestrates concert tours for musicians.
“All of our contacts in Europe can open doors that normally don’t open,” Majtlis said. “It has to be perfect. I want to bring the very best, best, best we can.”
Though the Netherlands native is clearly a gent of high standards, he wasn’t quite prepared for his partner’s critique of his first iteration of the website for Fay Gold Treasures (www.imtc-travel.com/faygold.php).
“She said, ‘It’s great, but I hate those pictures. These are not good representations of what you’re going to see.’ And she picked completely different pictures!” Majtlis recounted with a laugh, knowing already that what the art tour tastemaker says … goes.