"Welcome to the Gallery Inn. You have entered
...a warm greeting extended by the Gandias, owners and
hosts of this unique place. Restored in 196l by renown painter/sculptor,
Jan D'Esopo and horseman, Manuco Gandia, The Gallery Inn boasts seven
working art studios: painting, silk screening, framing, sculpture, mold
making, cold casting and a mictro foundry for bronze casting.
Located atop the north wall of 500 year Old San Juan,
guests are but a short walk to museums, galleries and a fine selection
Trompe l'Oiel walls adorn the many rooms our guests may
enjoy... sip a cool refreshment atop the wine deck, explore the old
Cistern, watch art created in our studios, listen to the magnificent
Steinway, play with our birds or just sit in one of lush patio gardens
by a trickling fountain and read a book!
The Galería San Juan, referred to in olden times as
"La Cueva del Indio", has become renowned as a unique and
exclusive setting for private dining and cocktail parties. Our dining
rooms and cocktail facilities can accommodate between 14 and 250 guests,
who are welcome to stroll through our courtyards, patios, galleries and
Your evening will begin with cocktails and a personal tour through our
three hundred year old home, where guests will explore rooms filled with
original paintings, silkscreens, terracotta reliefs and bronzes of all
sizes. The tour continues through the living quarters of your host, Jan
and Manuco, with its authentic ausubo floors, rooftop studio and
gardens, and culminates at the top of the gallery complex from which
they will experience a spectacular view of all San Juan, the surrounding
Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay.
Following the tour and an hour of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres hosted by
Jan and Manuco, your guests will be invited to stroll through the Main
Gallery and into the San Sebastian Gallery Dining Room. Each table is
adorned with silk, brocade and velvet, massive bronze candlesticks, and
an original piece of sculpture complements the flowers and fresh
greenery in the center of every table. Our one-of-a-kind plates and
bowls were created in our own ceramic studio from terra-cotta bisque or
red potting clay.
All of our food is homemade and the anthuriums, herbs and array of baby
vegetables are harvested and delivered daily from the mountain farms of
Barranquitas. Choose from a large and varied menu filled with chilled or
hot soups, delicious and beautifully presented main and second courses,
fresh salads and lovely desserts. We complete our dinners with freshly
brewed Puerto Rican coffee. If You wish to include music, we offer
alternatives, ranging from a classical guitarist to five men dressed in
Medieval costumes singing traditional Spanish songs.
Please join us for a very special evening.
About Jan D'Esopo:
Jan D'Esopo was born in New York and raised in
Connecticut. Her first awards in painting were won during exhibitions in
the prestigious Wadsworth Athenaeum at the age of nine. In 1956, she
graduated from Bennington College with majors in painting and sculpture.
Further studies at Yale School of Art and Architecture advanced her
keenness in portraiture, perspective and anatomy.
Lured by Caribbean brilliant color, exquisite light and D'Esopo family
ties to the island. she moved to Puerto Rico in 1961. This was an
adventurous encounter with a new culture, a warm people and an
overwhelming richness of subject matter. Soon her unique watercolor
style became well known throughout the Caribbean and the US as she
became popular with collectors. By 1985 she was honored with a major
retrospective at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. More than 90 paintings
were gathered from prestigious collections around the world to mount the
first traditional style watercolor painting show depicting Puerto Rico.
D'Esopo has founded two galleries in San Juan, one primarily to promote
young artists. She taught watercolor for eight years at the Art Students
League in San Juan. With her sister Teresa D'Esopo Spinner, well known
portrait painter, she has organized a multitude of workshops with
leading international artists at her San Juan Gallery. Numerous articles
have been written about Jan, her Gallery/Inn and her works including
magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, Vogue, The Wall
Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Daily, and many more. This
artist has also been the subject of feature articles in Colonial Homes,
Country Inns, Travel & Leisure and The American Way Magazine, to
mention only the most recent.
With her husband Manuco, she has mounted the only bronze foundry
dedicated to figurative work in Puerto Rico. Her portrait and monumental
bronzes may be viewed at the Puerto Rico Capital building. and Plaza San
Justo in Old San Juan and in public areas at schools, hospitals and
corporations both here and in the US. (Further information upon
"We spent 2 wonderful days in Felipe - The king of
rooms. I fear that future vacation spots are going to have trouble
keeping up - the sunset on El Morro from the hot tub - it's just too
"Your beautiful home is quite an inspiring place to
visit. I couldn't have dreamt of a better way to end a wondrous trip to
Puerto Rico. I'll always remember the soothing sounds of your fountains
and tranquil patio gardens. You are an amazing artist and it's great
that you share your vision and masterpieces with travelers. Muchas
gracias por su hospitalidad."
- Stephanie Wilde, Manhattan Beach, CA
"Thank you for the wonderful experience of our stay
here at La Galleria. Jan's unhurried generosity and friendliness
permeate the whole environment and has spread to the professional staff.
I've never experienced such timeless beauty and profusion of great
- Rich Ward + Katrina Dyson, San Luis Obispo,
"Mere words cannot describe the charm of the
Gallery Inn. We stayed one before our cruise and one night after +
coming back was like coming home. It has been a most enjoyable
experience. Thank you so much"
- Mary Ann + Dick Masek, Columbia, South Carolina