There’s no disputing the Honolulu Museum of Art has a world-class collection—it’s why our works are in demand around the globe. Here are some current flight patterns for HoMA art.
On view now through Feb. 28 at the Chiba City Museum of Art is our rare 18th-century woodblock print Kintarō and a Bear by Torii Kiyomasu I, along with 17 other prints from our collection. They are part of the exhibition Early Ukiyo-e: Power of the Woodblock, Power of the Brush, which also includes works from the Seattle Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, The British Museum, the Weston Collection and private collections.
The show is the climax of a year of five special exhibitions the museum presented to commemorate its 20th anniversary.
On its way to the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, is the museum’s Childe Hassam painting Isles of Shoals, Broad Cove (1911). This staff favorite will be part of the exhibition American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals, on view March 19 to June 19. NCMA organized the show with Peabody Essex Museum, where our painting will head to next before returning home in November.
Another icon of the HoMA collection will spend time in Los Angeles, when our Lee Bontecou untitled construction (pictured above) joins Hauer Wirth & Schimmel Gallery’s exhibition Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016, on view March 13 to Sept. 4. The Bontecou’s last day on view here is Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Make your love day an art day, and come spend some time with this work before it takes off for six months. It’s one of the works in the museum I can look at again and again and get all kinds of feels. And does it make anyone else think of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry? The old canvas mailbags she used make me imagine the Le Petit Prince author flying mail around West Africa, North Africa and Argentina, thinking about elephant-eating snakes. We experienced a frisson of pride last month when Carter Foster, the Ann Ames curator of drawing at the Whitney, spoke at our Doris Duke Theatre. He said our Bontecou was a better example of the artist’s work than the Whitney’s. He said it, not us! But, wow, yes, he said it.
Finally, if you happen to be invited to the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, you’ll see three works from the Honolulu Museum of Art. That’s because the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva—Pamela K. Hamamoto—is from O‘ahu, and through the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies program she is able to showcase art that provides “international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of both countries’ art and culture.” Working with ambassadors, AIE curates temporary and permanent exhibitions for the representational spaces of all U.S. chanceries, consulates, and embassy residences worldwide, selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries.
In the booklet showcasing the art in Hamamoto’s Geneva residence, she explains that “In honor of my great-grandparents who immigrated to Hawaii from Japan about the same time these photographs were taken, our exhibition showcases two well-known Japanese-American painters from Hawaii, Tadashi Sato and Isami Doi. I am particularly attached to these paintings, as the work of both Sato and Doi was clearly inspired by their childhood experiences in the islands.” Hanging in the ambassador’s residence are Isami Doi’s Overcast (undated), Tadashi Sato’s Submerged Rock (1960), and Ka Ning Fong’s Red Lanterns (1992). AIE curators worked with the museum’s curator of contemporary art James Jensen to select the works.