Monday, December 13, 2021

Hawaii Charlot Mural

A L O H A From Honolulu!

Life throws challenges
and every challenge comes
with rainbows and lights
to conquer it.
Amit Ray

Jean Charlot, Link
the significant French-born
American artist,
came to Hawaii in 1949 to
create frescoes
for the University of Hawaii.
He had already worked with
Diego Rivera and
Frida Kahlo in the
Mexican Muralism Renaissance
of the early 1920s  

In 1951 First Hawaiian Bank
[then Bishop National Bank]
commissioned Charlot to create this
large mural of several panels for
its new Waikiki Branch at the corner
of Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street.
[A few blocks from my home.
We have been First Hawaiian Bank
customers for 30 years]

“Early Cultural Exchanges
Between Hawaii and the Outer World"
this work is set between
1780 and 1830
depicting the immense changes
and multitude of introductions
to Hawaii during those years.
Charlot and his wife
made Hawaii their home,
and the artist
deeply studied Hawaiian
history and culture.

Above we see a Chief trading
a fine feathered cape for
western goods like metal nails,
textiles, and tools.

This panel depicts the sitting
for a famous painting of
Kamehameha the Great in
red waistcoat accompanied
by wife Ka'ahumanu. Charlot
appreciated the role of
Hawaii's women and often
depicted them in his work.
We see a Hawaiian guard
with spear, and
a Chinese person gifting
Hawaii it's first Banyan Tree.
The tiny plant promises the giant treasures we enjoy throughout
the islands today!

A foreign dignitary or
sea captain offers his
complements to the
King and Queen. 

" 'He wanted to make clear. . .
that the Hawaiians had
their own powerful culture
and were dynamically involved
in the historic drama unfolding
around them —
not passive primitives.
That is something that must
be underscored,' said his son
and biographer, 
John Charlot." Link

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,'
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
   Oliver Herford,
                                                  I Heard a Bird Sing

Love You,
   Cloudia & Pixie


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