Rosalea Hostetler 1937 –
Harper, Ks

In 1968, fiber artist Rosalea bought the hotel in her home town of Harper, painted it red, and made it a destination for young artists and “counter culture” types until she closed it in the mid-1980s.  In a pilgrimage there in the early 1970s, Tom Averill wrote:  “Rosalea tells us that she could have painted it any other color than red.  But she chose red, and upset all the town of Harper.  She wears little make-up, and pulls her light brown hair straight back from her forehead.  Her hair is shoulder length and covers her ears on the sides.  Her eyes seem always open wide and unclouded.”  Averill later received the membership card as a souvenir.

Click on images to enlarge…


Rosalea and friend in front of her hotel in Harper.
Kansas Art Reader,
J.W. Bell, pp. 371-373
Membership Card, Rosalea’s Hotel, 1978 (Copyright 1979)
Pen and Ink, Watercolor
4” x 5”

Click on the image below of “Mom’s Waterbed Suite” for an interesting article about the history of Rosalea’s hotel and her struggles with the city of Harper.  Included are historical photographs of Rosalea and her eccentric Harper Hotel.