HoMA SELECT

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    Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903). 'Two Nudes on a Tahitian Beach' (detail), 1891-94. Oil on canvas. Gift of Mrs. Charles M. Cooke, 1933 (3901).

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    Lionel Walden (American, 1861–1933). 'Hawaiian Fisherman,' 1924
. Oil on canvas. Gift of Frances Damon Holt in memory of John Dominis Holt, 2001 (9501.1).

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    Yamakawa Shūhō
(1898–1944)
. 'Three Sisters.' 
Japan, Shōwa period (1926–1989), 1936. Folding screen; ink and color on silk. Purchased with funds from the Beatrice Watson Parrent Acquisition Fund, 2002 (11822.1).

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    H.C. Westermann
(American, 1922–1981)
. 'Nouveau Rat Trap,' 1965
. Carved birch plywood
and rosewood, metal
. Gift of The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2011, and gift of Sharon and Thurston Twigg-Smith in honor of The Contemporary Museum’s 20th Anniversa

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November 03, 2016 - June 25, 2017
Spalding House


Exhibition Overview

If you had to pick the very best work of art in the collection, what would it be? It’s a nearly impossible task with so many worthy choices. How about the 10 best? Top 40? One hundred?

For nearly two years, the museum’s curators embarked on this very mission to identify the best the Honolulu Museum of Art had to offer and arrived at 134 exceptional works—from a clock to a video installation—for the institution’s new Collection Highlights catalog.

HoMA SELECT distills the list to 22 collection gems, presented in a new light in the Spalding House galleries. Seen in open, airy spaces, these works’ merits are magnified in an unrestricted viewing experience. The exhibition steers clear of traditional art historical paradigms as works are paired in unexpected ways, regardless of time period, genre, or geographical origin, provoking thought and discussion.

What makes these works so special? Is it their rarity and value? Do they represent a pinnacle of technical achievement or a conceptual breakthrough that expand the definitions of art? Find your own answers at the exhibition.

Included in HoMA SELECT are works by Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin, Hon'ami Kōetsu, Henry Moore, Nam Jun Paik, Auguste Rodin, Yamakawa Shūhō, and others, celebrating the remarkable quality and breadth of a collection that began nearly 90 years ago with founder Anna Rice Cooke. 

Read Spalding House director Aaron Padilla's curatorial notes on the blog.

This exhibition is generously supported by