Topics

Historic Hawaiian Photography Exhibit opens at Halekulani

In conjunction with our 30th anniversary, Halekulani proudly welcomes the Hawaii premiere of the exhibition: Photographs of Hawaii — Where Tradewinds Blow, featuring works by Caroline Haskins Gurrey and A.R. Gurrey Jr.

This historic photographic exhibit is an exploration of Hawaii and its people at the dawn of the Twentieth Century, with a specially curated presentation from the private collection of Mark and Carolyn Blackburn.

Caroline Haskins Gurrey (1869–1927) and her husband, Alfred Richard (A.R.) Gurrey Jr. (1874–1928), created some of the most defining photographic images of Honolulu and Hawaiians, in the early 1900s. Caroline was a true portraitist, and captured the subtlety and beauty of the locals, while he pioneered surf photography as we know it today. Together, their vision and view of Hawaii helped to establish Honolulu as a tourist destination and capture and preserve images of a culture now past.

Caroline arrived in Honolulu in 1898. A. R. Gurrey Jr. (1874–1928) accompanied his father to Honolulu in 1899. A. R. Gurrey Jr. brought his love of nature, his broad interest in the arts, and a dream of creating an artistic community. Caroline brought her love of and talent for photography. A century later, their photographs continue to define aspects of life in Hawaii that reflect the local spirit — the beauty, the diverse faces, the remarkable light and the surf.

Caroline was commissioned to create portraits of young Hawaiians entitled Types of Hawaiian Youth that would eventually be featured in the Hawaii Building at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909. Having only four months to create about 40 images, students from Kamehameha Schools became her subjects. The series of photographs won two gold medals at the exhibition. That portfolio was subsequently purchased by the Smithsonian, and is now in the National Anthropological Archives.

A. R. Gurrey Jr. was the first to photograph surfers at one of the local Waikiki surfing spots called “Threes”. Gurrey realized that to accurately portray surfing, he had to get close to the wave riders themselves – and this is what ultimately distinguishes his work. To capture these photographs, he worked with expert outrigger canoe paddlers, who maneuvered him into the wave just ahead of the surfers.

Together, Caroline and A.R. Gurrey were critical in capturing and preserving rare historic images of Honolulu, its people and its landscape before development changed it forever.

Located along the promenade, next to House Without A Key, this Exhibition is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The exhibit will run through the summer. Admission is free of charge.

A catalog of this exhibition is available for purchase at the Halekulani Boutique