Tom Schifanella’s Faces of the Alcazar presents a compelling glimpse of life behind-the-scenes at Henry Flagler’s Alcazar Hotel. The exhibition documents the fragmentary clippings from early-20th century motion picture magazines pasted to the walls of the Alcazar staff quarters by the immigrant staff who lived and worked at the hotel.
Flagler’s grand hotels required a huge workforce to ensure their smooth operation. Staff at resort hotels like the Alcazar included a vast and diverse group of working-class employees: men and women, Black and White, and newly arrived immigrants from Europe all found employment in Florida during the winter tourist season.
Faces of the Alcazar elevates the marginalized voices of the Alcazar Hotel staff. The crumbling magazine remnants left behind by these forgotten individuals evoke the ephemeral nature of youth, memory, and fame. They remain a haunting visual record of the dreams and aspirations of the people who served the wealthy visitors wintering in St. Augustine at the dawn of the 20th century.
Faces of the Alcazar is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.