Nā Kuana`ike Pāheona o Hawaii: Artistic Perspectives of Hawaii

The Lyman Museum will present a new special exhibit to the public from April 17, 2015 through September 19, 2015.  The exhibit, Nā Kuana`ike Pāheona o Hawai`i: Artistic Perspectives of Hawai`i, will bring together paintings, prints, and photographs from the 18th to the 21st centuries, covering five major themes:  The Time of Contact, Hawaiian Royalty, Hawaiian Culture, The Volcano, and Hawaiian Landscape.

Halemaumau Crater in Kilauea Caldera, by D. Howard Hitchcock, 1893.

Halemaumau Crater in Kilauea Caldera, by D. Howard Hitchcock, 1893.

Each section will include a selection of paintings, most from the permanent collection of the Lyman Museum and some on loan for the exhibit.  The paintings featured are by artists from the time of Cook’s visit until the recent past.  Contemporary photographs will provide a recent perspective on similar themes from two local photography organizations, the Kona Camera Club and the Hilo Photo Club.

Since 1778, when the Resolution and the Discovery under Captain James Cook made contact with the thriving culture and beautiful islands of Hawai`i, artists have been using their skills to bring their perspectives of “paradise” to a wide audience.  Some of the works will be familiar to many, and others have never been seen before in any exhibit.  Many of the works of art in the special exhibit have come to the Museum through the generous bequest of Donn Carlsmith.  Others have been donated to the Museum by a number of individuals and some have been loaned specifically for this exhibit.  The Isaacs Art Center of Hawai`i Preparatory Academy has been a generous source of works by Herb Kane.

Paul Dahlquist, former Director and current Trustee of the Lyman Museum, serves as guest curator for the special exhibit.  “How exciting would it be to see a 19th-century painting of Kīlauea erupting displayed next to a contemporary photograph interpreting the same scene?  Or to compare an 18th-century print depicting the death of Captain Cook at Kealakekua Bay with a 19th-century image of the same event, and a 20th-century painting by Herb Kane based on meticulous historical research into Cook’s death?

Nā Kuana`ike Pāheona o Hawai`i: Artistic Perspectives of Hawai`i, will present artists’ perspectives of nature and culture in Hawai`i by joining 18th- and 19th-century paintings and prints with 20th- and 21st-century works by painters, printmakers, and photographers.  As curator, I am very excited to be bringing these works together in a single show at the Lyman Museum. Come enjoy this one-of-a-kind exhibit!”

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i.  Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  During the run of this special exhibit the Museum will be closed May 25 (Memorial Day), July 4 (Independence Day), and September 7, 2015 (Labor Day).  For additional information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

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