In the 1990s, the late Hawai‘i-based artist Dietrich Varez created a series of linoleum block prints depicting landmark buildings in Honolulu. Included among these were the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, ‘Iolani Palace, the Moana Surfrider Hotel, and the Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikīkī. Can you guess which other iconic building the renowned artist chose to commemorate in his unique, intricately detailed style? None other than the Honolulu Academy of Arts, now known as the Honolulu Museum of Art (pictured above).

During the 1960s, Varez would frequent the museum with his wife, Linda, herself a noted painter. The couple loved to stroll through the galleries and in particular the courtyards, which were often bursting with seasonal colors. Linda fondly recalled the “long branches with flowers in bloom.” The museum was, for them—as it is for many of us —a tranquil, restorative corner of the world.

Varez is known throughout the world for his Hawai‘i-inspired block prints. His work has made its way across the globe, sharing Hawaiian culture, stories, and ancient legends in an authentic way. The artist illustrated a number of books over his career, including Mary Kawena Pukui’s seminal collection of Hawaiian proverbs and wisdom, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau. Nowadays, you can still find the artist’s iconic prints on exclusive Reyn Spooner aloha shirts or at his website,

Kevin Imanaka
Chief Communications Officer
April 10, 2020