The Island of Hawaii’s Historic Hotel Has Invested Over $1 Million to Refurbish Original Hawaiian Kapa Cloth and Quilts, Sculptures, and Antique Furniture from Its Original Collection
Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii (March 13, 2023)—The award-winning Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Island of Hawaii’s Kohala Coast has partnered with Honolulu’s Bishop Museum on a million-dollar art restoration and stabilization project to preserve the resort’s celebrated Rockefeller Art Collection. Spanning hundreds of pieces ranging from sculptures and antique furniture to native Hawaiian kapa cloth and quilts, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s art collection is considered one of the first hotels to introduce a museum-worthy gallery in the United States.
Opened in 1965 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has featured a priceless art collection from its inception with pieces sourced from Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and Hawaii. The resort also joined the Marriott Autograph Collection in 2015, with the Rockefeller Art Collection identified as its “mark”—its signature point of distinction that sets it apart from other hotels.
The hotel’s extensive collection is found throughout its public spaces, with unrestricted, open-air access for the past 58 years. Rockefeller intended for the pieces to be displayed as if they were in a private home, without signage or blockades, creating a more intimate and interactive experience for guests.
In 2017, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel reached out to the renowned Bishop Museum in Honolulu, which reinstated its third-party art restoration services exclusively to restore, refurbish, and stabilize Mauna Kea’s art collection. The project began with the restoration of eleven native Hawaiian kapa (pounded bark) cloth pieces dating back over 150 years, in partnership with kapa experts’ support. The pieces were meticulously removed and shipped to Honolulu in custom crates built by the museum and have since been returned in newly developed frames with a protective UV acrylic to prevent sun and weather damage. Additional restoration projects included returning two centuries-old prayer disciples to their original gold leaf façade, restoring and re-framing a number of hand-stitched Hawaiian quilts, and refinishing several statues located in Mauna Kea’s lobby. To ensure ongoing preservation of the art collection for decades to come, the Bishop Museum and local restoration experts at Island Eclectic have worked alongside the Mauna Kea team to create customized plans for each piece. The initiative will continue into 2024 with the restoration of Mauna Kea’s Tansu chest collection, woven basket masks from Papua New Guinea, and over 30 statues including new display plinths.
In addition to its comprehensive art restoration project, Mauna Kea Resort—which encompasses both Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort—has continued to build upon its legacy as a leader in museum-caliber art at hotels with additional partnerships including celebrated photographer Gray Malin, and local organizations including Red Dot Goods and Mana Up. In 2020, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel welcomed Malin to shoot a photography series entitled, “Gray Malin at The Mauna Kea.” The collection embodies the timeless legacy of Mauna Kea as a luxurious paradise, featuring vintage props, colorful surfboards, and striped beachside umbrellas, and brought to life 32 carefully crafted moments across the resort’s most iconic and eye-catching locations.
In 2022, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel partnered with two local organizations, Red Dot Goods and Mana Up, to further celebrate local artists and their work. Red Dot Goods has hosted a series of trunk shows for guests and locals to purchase vintage goods ranging from vintage posters of Hawaii and custom painted surfboards to handmade skateboards dating back to the 1950s. Red Dot Goods also has an installation on the promenade level of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. In addition to showcasing art onsite, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has partnered with Mana Up to amplify local artists’ work with a resort pop-up shop that sells handcrafted products made by Hawaiian artisans, such as original prints, maps, and apparel.
Art of Mauna Kea coffee table books are available in every room and for purchase at Mauna Kea’s gift shop, and guests and locals alike can also enjoy the Mauna Kea Art Collection during their stay through participation in a free in-person Art Tour each Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Podcasts about the collection are also available at www.maunakearesort.com/culture/art-collection.com.
ABOUT MAUNA KEA BEACH HOTEL:
Five decades after opening in 1965, the Laurance S. Rockefeller-developed Mauna Kea Beach Hotel continues its timeless legacy on the golden Kohala Coast of Hawai‘i Island. Tucked away along an idyllic cove with a sparkling white sand beach, the resort celebrates the ocean, land, and aloha spirit of Hawaii. Guests can unwind, renew and enjoy Mauna Kea moments across breathtaking indoor and outdoor spaces that carry out the resort’s signature understated elegance, mid-century modern design, and world-class Pacific Rim art collection. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offers 252 spacious guest rooms and suites with private lanai and scenic ocean or golf course views as well as four restaurants & lounges including the beachfront Hau Tree and stunning open-air Manta restaurant. Resort amenities also include an outdoor swimming pool with luxury cabanas; the intimate Mauna Kea Spa by Mandara; a 2,500 square foot fitness center; the legendary 18-hole Mauna Kea Golf Course which established Hawaii as a golfer’s paradise; the Seaside Tennis Club with ten tennis courts and four pickleball courts; and a daily Mauna Kea Keiki Club for children ages 5-12. Beach services include beach umbrellas and padded chaise lounges while complimentary ocean activities include snorkeling, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding.
For more information about Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, please visit MaunaKeaBeachHotel.com, call 808.882.7222 or follow along at @maunakeahotel.