alfred shaheen, Barbara Kawakami, Betty Kam, Bishop Museum, Camille Shaheen-Tunberg, Castle Memorial Building, Connecting Threads, Docents, East Meets West, Hawaiian Hall, HI Fashion: The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen, Kamehameha I, Leslie Wilcox, Long Story Short, native hawaiian garden, paki hall, Picture Brides, Polynesian Hall, Richard Mamiya Science Adventure Center, sports hall of fame, Textured Lives: Japanese Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawai‘i, The Watumull Planetarium, Tradition and Transition: Stories of Hawai‘i Immigrants, travel, vacation
Tourist Tuesdays are about seeing your everyday world with the eyes of a tourist.
For the past month or so, my Tuesday afternoons have been belonged to the Bishop Museum. We are in the midst of docent training that “Connects the Threads” of three different exhibits: Tradition and Transition (Immigrant Lives), Textured Lives (Immigrant Clothing) and HI Fashion (Alfred Shaheen).
E Komo Mai.
Nau Ka Hale
I have long loved the Bishop Museum, but I’ve never been as involved with it as I have during my current Hawaiian tenure. The museum has expanded over the decades. Hawaii Hall showcases historic artifacts and representations of the lives and ways of Kanaka Maoli from ancient times into the 20th century. Hawaiian Hall re-opened after extensive restoration in 2009. Polynesian Hall is set to reopen Summer of 2013 and will relate the migration of people, pigs, dogs, and chickens along with their plant staples from Southern China through Melanesia, Micronesia and then developing in to the modern Polynesian cultures. The Watumull Planetarium offers both a glimpse of the Sky Tonight and educational programs on the importance of the night’s sky to Polynesian voyaging.
The Sky Tonight: Every 1st and 3rd Friday from 8p-9p. Call 848.4168 for reservations. This fall the planetarium will be closed for restoration.
The Richard Mamiya Science Adventure Center, Na Ulu Kaiwi’ula Native Hawaiian Garden, and Paki Hall are the other main areas open to visitors. Paki Hall is home to the Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Library and Archives.
Castle Memorial Building
Castle is the home of special exhibits. The first floor houses an ever-changing assortment of smaller sized, special exhibits. Sesame Street Presents: The Body and Facing Mars were the last two to occupy that space. Click here for more information on past exhibits.
The third and fourth floors of Bishop house some of the archived artifacts as well as the archivists who work diligently in preservation and research. Betty Kam took us on a third floor field trip today. It is always an awe-inspiring venture. I touched a fine mat that Kamehameha I had used. Chicken flesh, goose bumps, whatever name you call it. I had plenty and the chills of excitement that go with them.
Tradition and Transition:
Stories of Hawai’i Immigrants (Fall 2011-Summer 2013)
This is the exhibit that I trained for last October before it opened. Peter is truly the star docent. I recommend that you stop by and talk story with him about the exhibit on Wednesday afternoons. If you want my take on the exhibit, come see me on Sundays. The exhibit touches on the time period when sugar was king. Lots of inconvenient truths and little known historical tidbits. Be prepared to be moved in unexpected ways.
Japanese Immigrant Clothing from the Plantations of Hawai’i (Aug 18th-Oct 15th)
The special opening of the exhibit will be this Friday night for our donors and VIPs. Yes, another exciting gala night for me. I love the sight of the Friday night Waikiki fireworks from Museum Campus in Kalihi! Best spot for them.
Of course the biggest treat and reward for working all weekend is to be witness to the boundless energy of Barbara Kawakami. Click here for an audio recording of Barbara and Leslie Wilcox talking story on Long Story Short. Her story is truly fascinating. And the stories she tells of Picture Brides and plantation women through their fashion and textiles is truly remarkable. The exhibit will be completed on Friday. Click here to peek behind the scenes.
The Legacy of Alfred Shaheen (Opens Nov 10)
Alfred Shaheen was a fashion and business innovator. His daughter, Camille, has been very generous in preserving and sharing her father’s legacy. Aloha wear as high fashion was his creation. His influence extended beyond Hawaii to the Mainland, indeed throughout the world. His East Meets West displays in department stores coined the phrase and introduced off-the-rack designer wear to the world. Aloha shirts, the Bombshell dress, Tiki dresses, silk screening as a major fashion technique. In a word, innovative. The website Camille curates at AlfredShaheen.com is a great place to whet your appetite for what is coming next to Castle.
For more information on upcoming exhibits, check out the official Bishop Museum website.
Which of the different museums in the Bishop Museum Campus is your favorite? Tell us a story of your favorite museum. Which exhibit at Castle speaks to your interests? Talk story with us. Leave your comments below.