Modern Art of Hawaii
Here in our Modern Art of Hawaii gallery are the greats of the 20th century and the present day!
Ua kaha aku la ka nalu o kuu aina. The surf has pressed upon my land. (One is in adverse circumstances.)
Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940) was an English painter and printmaker who settled in Hawaii. He began his studies as an artist at age 23, when he enrolled in the Royal Academy in London to study painting and etching. After three years there, he entered the private studio school Académie Julian in Paris.
In 1889, he returned to England and married, but his wife and infant son died in childbirth. Bartlett then traveled to Europe, spending several years there with his friend and fellow artist Frank Brangwyn, who introduced Bartlett to Japanese prints. Bartlett produced some of his most important early works, especially studies of peasants.
Bartlett traveled to Japan in 1915, where he met woodblock print publisher Watanabe Shōzaburō, regarded as a major influence in modern Japanese art. Watanabe published series of woodblocks from Bartlett’s designs, including of Japanese landscapes. In 1917, Bartlett and his second wife left Japan for England; however, they stopped off in Hawaii, where they remained—never returning to England. He again visited Japan in 1919, where he created a set of sixteen prints for Watanabe.
Anna Rice Cooke, founder of the Honolulu Museum of Art, became Bartlett’s patron. In 1928, Bartlett joined with local artists Alexander Samuel MacLeod, John Melville Kelly, and Huc-Mazelet Luquiens to found Honolulu Printmakers. Charles Bartlett died in Hawaii in 1940.
“Hawaiian Man in an Outrigger Canoe”
“West Kauai Cattle Landing”
“Fishing in Hawaii”
“The Surf Rider, Duke, Waikiki”
Helen Thomas Dranga (1866–1927) was a British/American painter who made paintings of Hawaii. Born in England, she moved with her family to Oakland, California in 1894, and then to Hawaii, where they settled in Hilo in 1901.
She painted the Hawaiian landscape with a “remarkably sensitive touch”, and her paintings were said to “seem to reflect the romantic view of Hawaii”. Her work regularly appeared on the cover of Paradise of the Pacific magazine, including her painting of a Golden Shower Tree published in a 1927 edition. Her paintings were included in Encounters with Paradise: Views of Hawaii and its People, 1778-1941, published in 1992. She lived in Hilo and then moved in the 1920s to Honolulu, where she died in 1927.
“Sunset on the Waiakea River near Hilo, Hawaii”
“Koolau Mountains from Wahiawa”
“Pu Hala on the Waiakea River near Hilo”
Paul Emmert (1826–1867) was born in Switzerland. He emigrated to the United States at age 19, where he rapidly became an established artist in New York. He joined the Gold Rush in California in 1849, and later exhibited a panorama of paintings of the miners he observed there. He returned to California in late 1850, where he operated the Bear Hotel in Sacramento and a theater in San Francisco. He exhibited his paintings in San Francisco and other communities.
In 1853, he moved to Hawaii and opened a print shop in Honolulu, where he made prints of his own drawings of local landmarks. He moved to Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii, where he farmed a sugarcane plantation until his death in 1867.
Public collections of the works of Paul Emmert are held by the Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), the Hawaii Historical Society, and the Honolulu Museum of Art.
“View Mauka Along Nuuanu Stream”
“View of Smallpox Hospital”
Hugo Anton Fisher
Hugo Anton Fisher (1854-1916) was known for painting watercolor landscapes. Born into a family of artists in Bohemia, he emigrated to New York and later moved to California with his wife and children. In 1894, Fisher moved to Hawaii and opened a studio in Honolulu, but he left Hawaii for the mainland late in 1896. Fisher died in Alameda, California in 1916.
Public collections of work by Hugo Anton Fisher are held by the Adirondack Museum (Blue Mountain Lake, New York), the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Hawaii State Art Museum.
“Beach of Waikiki”
Charles Furneaux (1835–1913) was born in Boston and lived in the town of Melrose, becoming a drawing instructor in that area. In 1880, Furneaux moved to Hawaii, where he befriended King Kalakaua and other members of the royal family, who gave him several commissions. While living in Honolulu he taught at Punahou School and at what later became Iolani School. In 1885, Kalakaua awarded the Order of Chevalier of Kapiolani “in recognition of his services in advancing Hawaiian art.” His reputation mainly derives from the paintings he made of erupting volcanoes on the island of Hawaii. He died in Hawaii in 1913.
Public collections of works by Charles Furneaux are held by the Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, Iolani Palace (Honolulu) and Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (South Hadley, Massachusetts).
“Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and Helumoa Coconut Grove, Honolulu” (c. 1880-1885)
D. Howard Hitchcock
David Howard Hitchcock (1861-1943) was an American painter of the Volcano School, known for his paintings of Hawaii. He was born in Hilo, Hawaii, and after graduating from Punahou School, Hitchcock attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he held his first art exhibition. Back in Hawaii, he wandered the Big Island’s volcanic wilderness with a sketch pad and watercolors. French artist Jules Tavernier, painting in Hawaii, saw Hitchcock’s sketches and convinced him to study art seriously. After Tavernier’s death in 1889, Hitchcock studied painting at the National Academy of Design in New York City and at the Académie Julian in Paris. His work was accepted at the Paris Salon of 1893.
He returned to Hawaii in 1893, and became one of the founders of the Kilohana Art League, an art program in Honolulu. Hitchcock painted scenes from the volcanic regions of the island of Hawaii. In 1907 he visited the island of Kauai, where he painted Waimea Canyon, and the island of Maui in 1915 and 1916. He became a leading member of Hawaii’s Volcano School. In 1919 he painted two murals for the Pan-Pacific Union in Honolulu, and painted dramatic scenes of Hawaii for the new steamers Haleakala and Malolo of the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company. His style later evolved to become more impressionistic.
His paintings were displayed in 1924 at the First Hawaiian and South Seas Exhibition in the Los Angeles Museum. In 1927, he exhibited several paintings at the opening of the Honolulu Museum of Art, and held a retrospective exhibition there in 1936. In 1939 his work was exhibited in the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco and at the New York World’s Fair.
“City of Refuge”
“A View of Halemaumau Crater”
“Hanalei Valley Kauai”
“View from the Pali”
“Twilight Fishing in Waikiki”
“Halemaumau Lake of Fire”
Grass Shack on Beach
“Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, Oahu, Hawaii”
“Sunrise Glow from Wailoa River”
“A Village Scene”
“Mokoli’i Island at Twilight”
“Kahuku Beach Oahu”
“Kaneohe Bay Fishponds”
“Halema’uma’u Lava Lake and Kilauea Caldera”
“Lauhala by the Shore”
“Lanai from Lahaina”
Ogura Yonesuke Itoh
Ogura Yonesuke Itoh was born in Japan in 1870. At 25 years of age, he sailed to Hawaii, where he jumped ship and evaded the authorities by hiding out in Punchbowl Crater. His work was associated with Hawaii’s Volcano School, and Itoh became the first recognized Japanese painter to paint Hawaii subjects. His paintings were similar to those of Jules Tavernier, a prominent figure in the Volcano School. Many of his paintings were left unsigned, since he was in Hawaii illegally, and some of these unsigned works were incorrectly attributed to Tavernier. Ogura died in 1940.
The Honolulu Museum of Art usually has at least one painting by Ogura Yonesuke Itoh on exhibit, along with other examples of the Volcano School.
“Hale Mau Mau”
“Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa”
Arman Tateos Manookian
Arman Tateos Manookian (1904-1931) was an Armenian-American painter best known for his works depicting scenes of Hawai’i. Manookian was the oldest of three children born to a Christian Armenian family in Istanbul. As a teenager, he survived the Armenian genocide and emigrated to the United States in 1920. At the age of 16 he attended the Rhode Island School of Design, and later took classes at the Art Students League of New York before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1923. While in the Marines, Manookian supplied illustrations for Leatherneck Magazine and some 75 ink drawings for a history of the Marine Corps which was never published. These drawings now reside in the Honolulu Museum of Art.
In 1927, Manookian was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, but he remained in Hawaii, working for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Paradise of the Pacific. His oil paintings are valued for their scarcity due to his early death by suicide in 1931. Only 31 of his oil paintings are known to exist. The State of Hawaii House of Representatives lauded him as “Hawaii’s Van Gogh”.
A group of seven Manookian paintings owned by the Hotel Hana-Maui, the only Manookian oil paintings known to be on public display anywhere, were removed from public display. Two of the murals, “Red Sails” and “Hawaiian Boy and Girl”, are now on long-term loan to the Honolulu Museum of Art.
“Greeting by Chiefs”
“Ala Wai, Honolulu”
Joseph Kahoʻoluhi Nāwahī (1842-1896) was a Native Hawaiian nationalist leader, legislator, lawyer, newspaper publisher, and painter. Nāwahī is regarded as an influential Hawaiian patriot, on account of his long political service to the monarchy and his resistance and opposition to its overthrow.
Born on the island of Hawaii, Nāwahī was educated in the Protestant missionary schools of the islands. He became a teacher at the Hilo Boarding School and a self-taught lawyer. He was also an accomplished artist, and one of the few Hawaiian painters to work in Western styles. Nawahi served in the last legislative assembly before the annexation of Hawaii, and after that went on to become a political leader for the Liberal faction. He spearheaded opposition to the unpopular Bayonet Constitution of 1887 and advocated for Hawaiian nationhood and self-rule. He co-authored the proposed 1893 Constitution with Queen Liliʻuokalani, but three days after the attempted promulgation of the constitution, the queen was deposed and the Kingdom of Hawaici was overthrown on January 17, 1893.
Nawahi remained loyal to the fallen monarchy. He was elected as president of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League), a patriotic organization created after the overthrow of the queen to oppose the looming annexation. He and his wife Emma established the anti-annexation newspaper Ke Aloha Aina.
In December 1894, Nāwahī was arrested and jailed by the Republic on charges of treason. He was acquitted and released, but died in 1896 from the tuberculosis he had contracted while in prison. His funeral services in Honolulu and Hilo were attended by his many supporters and friends; even his former enemies and the government of the Republic admitted his contributions as a patriot of Hawaii.
“View of Hilo Bay”
“View of Hilo Bay, Hawai’i”
William Twigg-Smith (1883–1950) was born in New Zealand, and went on to live most of his life in Hawaii as a painter, illustrator and musician. During World War I, he served as an artist in the American Camouflage Corps—one of its first. After the war, he returned home to work as an illustrator for the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association, and he held solo shows featuring his landscapes of Hawaii. Several of his works are on exhibit with by the Honolulu Museum of Art, and others remain in private collections.
“Pali Taro Fields”
“Rice Fields, Hanalei”
Don’t miss out on Hawaii’s Early Art!
P.S. If you have a taste for history, we invite you to our companion site WisdomMaps.info. It’s history as you’ve never seen it!