Stylish Traveler Tells All – with Gillian Bryce

November 6, 2015 • By

It’s time for another Stylish Traveler interview – and I’m excited.

To celebrate #FollowFriday, I’ll be posting occasional Friday Q&A’s with bloggers, artists, interior designers or other creative types.  This time, I’m interviewing gallery owner Gillian Bryce of Gillian Bryce Fine Art.

Art Dealer Gillian Bryce Talks Travel on Rover@Home

Art Dealer Gillian Bryce Talks Travel on Rover@Home

My friend Kellie and I met Gillian a few years back in Atlanta. Immediately, we knew she was intriguing – with a background full of amusing stories. That sounds like the perfect interview, doesn’t it? Read on…

Gillian studied at the Corcoran School of Art and James Madison University and, like me, she put art on the back burner for a while and pursued success elsewhere. Now, she’s living out her true calling – buying and selling art. You can check out her amazing website here.

Painting by William Fredericksen, One of Gillian's Many Fine Art Offerings

Painting by William Fredericksen, One of Gillian’s Many Fine Art Offerings

Gillian, it’s so nice to reconnect. I love your style and I know you travel quite a bit. What’s your favorite travel destination?

This is such a hard question for me!  I don’t have a single favorite.  I have a congenital case of wanderlust and any place I haven’t been before is my newest favorite.

Is there a Dream Destination you haven’t been to, yet?

India. For one thing, I don’t speak the language and I have this strange attraction to being a foreigner.  I love to learn the traditions, food and culture of place completely different from what I know.  I would also love to visit an ashram and explore a spiritual connection, and the tranquility I’ve read happens there.
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Umaid Bhawan Exterior, Jodphur, India, courtesy WikiCommons

Umaid Bhawan Exterior, Jodphur, India, courtesy WikiCommons

I haven’t heard many people articulate it that way, but I agree – feeling foreign and out of your element is amazing. I love not knowing how to cross the street or buy bread in a new place!

Ok – let’s talk style. What’s the most stylish place you’ve ever stayed?  

One was a tiny room at the Soho Grand, where I was fascinated with the well-appointed small space.  I especially loved the ball chain beaded curtain that enclosed the closet. Also, a room in a former castle in the French Alps.  It was delightful to stay in a space that was designed with period furniture and textiles.

Lobby of the Soho Grand in New York

Lobby of the Soho Grand in New York

What’s the most decadent, memorable or stylish travel souvenir you’ve ever come home with?  

That would definitely be a crystal chandelier that I smuggled across the border of the former Czechoslovakia.
At that time, you weren’t allowed to take products out of the communist country.  I hid it under a lot of clothes in the back of the rental car.  We took a wrong turn and ended up at the Czechoslovakia/East German border in the middle of a snowstorm.
I was certain I was going to be locked up for life.  What I won’t do for a beautiful home!
An East German checkpoint in 1989 - Imagine the stress! Photo: Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn 1 by Günter Mach

An East German checkpoint in 1989 – Imagine the stress! Photo: Grenzübergangsstelle Marienborn 1 by Günter Mach

Wow! That’s crazy. But now you’ve got a great light fixture and a great story!

Have you ever rented a vacation home online?

Yes!  Twice (or three times) a year, a group of friends and I rent a lake house in Massachusetts.  It’s a smaller house right on the lake, and we all gather there to shop the Brimfield Antique Fair.  It’s become a tradition and although the space is small and we all bunk together, it’s the perfect place to gather for dinner on the lake after a long day in the fields picking vintage and antiques.

Shopping the Brimfield Antiques Flea Markets

Shopping the Brimfield Antiques Flea Markets

Does travel inspire your work?  

Absolutely.  Since I travel all over, I’m able to see first hand how different regions of the country collect and show fine art.  Looking in every shop and show on my route, I am able to find regional pieces as well as art that goes unnoticed because it is not the “style” that is popular in that part of the country.  I also love doing fine art fairs and meeting collectors and art enthusiasts from all over.  Passion drives my business and travel exposes me to an abundance of like-minded people.

Imagine you get to spend a weekend at a classic house party – complete with dinner parties, charades, poolside frolics, picnics and outdoor activities.

Which guests would you live to spend the weekend with?  You can invite anyone (real or fictional, living or dead).

Along with my closest friends, I would invite my favorite artists.  David Hockney, Egon Schiele, Mary Cassatt, Dale Chihuly,  Louise Nevelson and Rose Cabat among others.  I’d bring oil paint and easels, brushes and clay.  I’m certain I would want the evening to never end.

Artist's Palette photographed by Mark Burnett

Artist’s Palette photographed by Mark Burnett

What’s the best perk or amenity you’ve ever received in a hotel?  

It’s got to be comped rooms and meals at the Paris in Las Vegas.  All that time at the black jack table didn’t go to waste.


Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

What’s the ultimate symbol of stylish travel?

To me, it is an edited style. Effortless and minimal, only taking what is needed. This not only makes the experience so much more simple and hassle free, but it reminds me of how little I need to survive and how much abundance I live in daily.

So – where are you off to next?

Most certainly it will be an art fair.  I’m hoping to do Art Miami, and after that most certainly Art Aspen and Art Hamptons.  A regular show that I do  is 214 Modern Vintage in High Point, NC, where every April and October we coincide with the Furniture Market.

Art Aspen 2015

Art Aspen 2015

Thanks so much for being my Stylish Traveler this month! That was fun. I hope to see you again, soon!


For more about Gillian and Gillian Bryce Fine Art, visit the website:

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Two Women, Marianne Metzger, available through Gillian Bryce