Hawaii State Art Museum

"Hanauma Bay Series: Ronin Samurai" (1982), a watercolor by Masami Teraoka (1936-).
This piece is done in Japanese Ukiyo-e influenced style and is my favorite piece in the museum. 
The Hawaii State Art Museum is comprised of four galleries—the Diamond Head Gallery, the Ewa Gallery, the Sculpture Lobby, and the Sculpture Garden—and features the work of over 100 Hawaiian artists, most of which are Asian American (i.e., Chinese or Japanese), or who moved to Hawaii and spent a significant time in the state. Although the majority of the pieces were created in the 1960s, there are a few newer works of art. 

The history of the museum is quite interesting. The building began as a hotel in 1872, which was converted into a YMCA in 1917, then subsequently used as a military outpost during WWI. Since then, it has became the Hawaii State Art Museum and the home of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. It is also a popular wedding venue, likely because of the gorgeous scenery.

Patrons can visit the museum for free; therefore, there is no excuse not to stop by if you're in downtown Hawaii! While the gallery is small, the artwork is beautiful and rich.

The museum's colorful pool and garden.
If you took in most of the art pieces and skimmed the blurbs, I think a visit to the museum would take around 90 minutes. You could possibly spend longer there if you include a visit to the pool and garden in the back or small restaurant on the bottom floor.

As a History buff, I enjoyed viewing each piece, reading the artists' bios, and generally learning about the people who chronicled Hawaii's history and beauty through their artwork.

I admit, I did not take many pictures at the museum as I was too busy enjoying the collection. Nevertheless, I managed to snap a few photos of my favorite pictures, but unfortunately I did not record the artists' names.

The reflection in this work is difficult
to execute with watercolor.

The colors of this pastel piece are calming.

My second favorite piece. The rain (雨), mountain (山),
town (町), and forest (木) are interposed with their actual
representations and Japanese kanji writing.
Generally, if you enjoy art museums and would like to see fantastic artwork for free, the Hawaii State Art Museum is definitely for you. Actually, the museum would make a great place to rest your feet and relax in free air conditioning if you're in Honolulu during the summer!

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