July 16, 2009
November 01, 2009
The Maurice J. Sullivan Family Gallery of Chinese Art (16)
While Charles Bartlett made his home in Hawaii for the last 23 years of his life, and became one of Hawaii’s most prominent artists, the brief time he spent in China remained an enduring influence in his artwork.
Bartlett first visited China in 1916, and made additional trips in 1919 and 1921. The latter trip was of particular importance, since his travel companions included Honolulu Academy of Arts founder Anna Rice Cooke, and her daughter Alice Spalding.
The Academy preserves a unique set of watercolors of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven done by Bartlett on this trip, which were given to the museum by Mrs. Cooke eight years later. In addition, Bartlett introduced Mrs. Cooke to his compatriot Elizabeth Keith, who, like Bartlett, designed traditional Japanese woodblock prints. This led to Mrs. Cooke donating 51 of Keith’s prints to the Academy when it opened in 1927. The exhibition includes many rare watercolors and etchings by Bartlett and woodblock prints by Keith depicting Chinese subjects. In addition, a series of prints by Keith and her contemporary Paul Jacoulet will be displayed in the adjacent Korean Gallery (Gallery 15).
A Printmaker in Paradise: The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett catalog is available at the Honolulu Museum of Art Shop and online.