About seven years ago, Sue Hostetler, the editor in chief of Art Basel Magazine, was at a Los Angeles art fair when she spotted a wall sculpture by the Scottish duo Littlewhitehead of a disheveled but well-dressed man balancing precariously on a window ledge, looking morose and, understandably, a tad frightened. Hostetler snapped up the piece, titled The Jumper, for her collection. “One of the reasons I bought it was, living in New York, I always felt I was a little on edge,” she says.
These days the 24/7 stress of high-octane New York is but a distant memory for Hostetler, and The Jumper now overlooks the entry hall of her house in Aspen, Colorado, where she resides year-round. The piece serves as a daily reminder of her life in Manhattan—and why she left it for the calmer pace and fresher air of the Rocky Mountains. It was actually on a bit of a whim that Hostetler and her late partner, noted financier Donald Drapkin, first decided to spend a year in Aspen. That was three years ago. “It’s a big joke in Aspen: People say they’ll stay for a year and then never leave,” she says with a laugh. Her daughter, Spencer, now 13, sealed the deal. “She came home after the first day of school and announced, ‘You just need to know, I’m never going back,’” recalls Hostetler.
The move wasn’t a total stretch: Throughout Hostetler’s childhood in Kansas, her family had a house in Keystone, Colorado, and, later, in Aspen. “It’s always been my happy place,” she says. Drapkin, who died early last year, also had long, deep ties to the ski mecca, and he and Hostetler bonded over Aspen and art. The still-grieving Hostetler describes him as “an extraordinary aesthete with an insatiable curiosity, whether for the theater or midcentury architecture or the perfect bouillabaisse at his beloved Tetou restaurant in Antibes.”
When the couple went house-hunting together in Aspen, a spectacular setting was their number one requirement. “I felt like if we’re going to live here, with all this natural beauty, I really wanted a view,” Hostetler says. They certainly found that in this home. Close to town but nestled among trees, it has stunning vistas of both Aspen and Buttermilk mountains. Plus, she adds, “The place just has a great vibe—there’s something serene, warm, and cozy about it.”