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King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel has yet another reason to be proud. Earlier this year, new life was infused into the hotel with the completion of a $35 million dollar renovation. Now, highly acclaimed Hawaiian Historian/Artist Herb Kawainui Kane brings Hawaiian history to life at the hotel via 40 signed and numbered limited-edition giclees, the largest single hotel collection of his work. The artwork is a sequence that depicts early Hawaiian lifestyles and legends, through modern day. Portraits of ali’i (royalty), gods and goddesses, voyages, entertainers and more share stories of Hawai’i’s vibrantly rich past, and present.
The giclees of paintings are prominently displayed throughout the lobby breezeway, between the main lobby and the west tower. The new collection joins an original by Kane that was restored during the renovation – an oil depicting Kamehameha I, his family, and advisors at Kamakahonu, the bay that fronts the hotel. A few other original pieces that have been a part of the lobby display for decades include a treasured feather cape or ahu’ula, feathered helmet or mahi’ole, feather lei, war weapons, and lei niho palaoa (lei of braided human hair and a whale or walrus tooth, usually worn only by royalty).
“We are so excited and honored to be able to showcase some of Herb Kane’s most brilliant pieces,” said Jak Hu, general manager of the hotel. “Walking through the display is like taking a journey back in time, one in which Herb Kane has been able to capture on canvas.”
Kane said it’s fitting that the collection dwells in Kona, in particular, the same area where Hawai’i’s most illustrious ruler, King Kamehameha the Great, last resided.
“Kamakahonu, the site of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, is historically signficant. I couldn’t think of a better place to house this collection,” said Kane. “If my art can contribute to the comprehension and understanding of Hawai’i’s past, I have succeeded.”
Herb Kawainui Kane
Born in 1928, Kane was raised in Waipi’o Valley and Hilo, Hawai’i Island and in Wisconsin. Mr. Kane studied at the University of Chicago and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he obtained a Masters Degree in 1953, and an honorary doctorate in 2008. A multi-faceted artist, Kane’s career includes advertising art, publishing art, architectural design, painting, writing, and sculpture. He has published several books, and is one of the founders of Polynesian Voyaging Society. He currently resides in rural South Kona. For more information, please visit www.herbkanestudio.com.
King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel sits adjacent to the National Historic Landmark Ahu’ena Heiau, Kamehameha I’s personal and final residence, and the center of political power in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Kamehameha used this site as a gathering place for his kāhuna (priests) and advisors to counsel and guide both he and his successor, Kamehameha II (Liholiho). For reservations or more information, visit www.konabeachhotel.com, or find us on Facebook®.
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