Art FAQ

I own a work of art. Can the museum help me find out more about it?

Unfortunately, the museum’s curatorial departments do not have the resources to dedicate time to individual research requests.

As an alternative you may wish to visit the museum's Robert Allerton Art Library; with a collection of some 45,000 books and periodicals, extensive biographical files on artists of Hawai'i and elsewhere, and auction catalogues dating to the beginning of the 20th century, the library is the state's premiere source of art information. The reading room includes a database of Japanese ukiyo-e print images. More than 2,000 digitized images of prints in the museum's collection, many of them gifts from the late author James A. Michener, are available for viewing on a computer. A non-circulating research facility, the library reading room is open Wednesday and Thursday 10am-3:30pm, Friday 10am-3pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. For more information, call (808) 532-8754.

The Honolulu Museum of Art cannot provide valuation on art objects for the public or its members. If you wish to know the value of your artwork, you should consult a trained professional art appraiser to help you with your questions. To find an appropriate appraiser, the museum recommends that you contact the American Society of Appraisers, (800) 272-8258.

I have an artwork that is damaged, how do I get it repaired?

Caring for art requires much special care and attention, and we are therefore hesitant to offer advice. We suggest that you contact the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works. Their website has pamphlets on selecting a conservator and a general introduction to the care of various materials. They also have a free referral service of conservators throughout the United States. They also offer various publications containing general information related to conservation and choosing a conservator. You may write to them at 1717 K Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, D.C. 20006, or call them at (202) 452-9545.

Many object-care needs may not rise to the level of requiring professional conservation. Two excellent books highly regarded by the conservation community are Caring for Your Collections (Harry N. Abrams, 1992) and Caring for Your Family Treasures (Heritage Preservation, 2001).

How can I sell or donate a piece of art to the museum?

The museum is always interested in adding new objects to its collection. The first step is to mail or email color photographs of the art objects accompanied by detailed descriptions of the objects and how they were obtained. It is also helpful to include a brief statement regarding why you would like the Honolulu Museum of Art to consider them for acquisition to the museum. Please mail or email the information about the items to the appropriate department:

European & American Art:
dmcfarr@honolulumuseum.org
900 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96814

Asian Art:
schock@honolulumuseum.org
900 S. Beretania St.

Honolulu, HI 96814

Textiles:
soka@honolulumuseum.org
900 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96814

Contemporary Art:
jjensen@honolulumuseum.org
900 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96814


After receiving your information, a representative of the curatorial department will determine if the items are appropriate for addition to the museum's collection. If it is determined to be something the museum should pursue, a representative from the curatorial department will contact you about our accession policy.

Submitting artist proposals to the museum

Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center:

• Open to artists with a connection to Hawai’i (currently live/work here, born/raised here and now live elsewhere, visited and created a body of work in/about Hawai‘i).

• To submit a proposal, email or mail a cover letter, resume, and images to: Katherine Love, Curatorial Assistant, Contemporary Art, 900 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96814; klove@honolulumuseum.org

• See information on Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center.

Orvis Artist-in-Residence Program at Spalding House:

• Open to Hawai’i artists. 

• Four artists are selected each year.

• Contact Bradley Capello at bcapello@honolulumuseum.org for more information. 

• See the program online. 

Artists of Hawai‘i biennial exhibition:

• Open to artists currently living in Hawai’i

• The exhibition is held on odd-numbered years; prospectus and submission information is available in the year prior to the exhibition

• See information on the last Artists of Hawai‘i 

John Dominis and Patches Damon Holt Gallery Contemporary Hawai‘i Artists Exhibition Program

• By invitation only 

Artists outside of Hawai’i

• You may send exhibition announcements or information to: James Jensen, Curator of Contemporary Art, Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96814; or email jjensen@honolulumuseum.org 

PLEASE NOTE: The curators are unable to respond to all inquiries. Documentation including CDs, slides, catalogues, and/or portfolios mailed to the museum will not be returned. Do not send original artwork. If there is curatorial interest in the submitted work, you will be contacted for more information.