The Sunday Traveler~Courtyards of Honolulu Museum of Art

La Grande Penelope, 1912

Walking in to the Honolulu Museum of Art is a bit unusual in that one walks into courtyards in a tropical climate, heavy with humidity the day I visited, and feel transported to other worlds.


Bertram Goodhue, a New York architect, designed the plans for the galleries surrounded by courtyards; he took advantage of the outdoor light, and Hawaii’s climate. The architect used elements of Chinese and Mediterranean features, along with the pitched roof popular in Hawaii. The Chinese Courtyard is surrounded by the Asian art galleries, and the Mediterranean Courtyard is surrounded by the collection of European and American art.  Paving stones made from Chinese granite slabs that were used as ballast in ships transporting Hawaiian sandalwood are used around the koi pond in the Chinese Courtyard. There are flagstones from Molokai, and Chinese green glazed tiles.

I’ve put a gallery together of different perspectives of the courtyards that I took those wonderful few hours that I was there.

It rained, the sun came out, and it rained again. No matter.

The lead photo is a sculpture entitled La Grande Penelope, dated 1912.  The sculptor is Emile-Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929).

About Angeline M

Love travel and photography. Living in Northern California. Photos of locations visited are personal file photos.
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16 Responses to The Sunday Traveler~Courtyards of Honolulu Museum of Art

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    Such thought was given to building the museum, Angeline. The courtyard is a gallery in itself and would be a nice place to relax for a spell while touring the museum.


    • Angeline M says:

      There was a whole lot of thought put in to planning and building this museum. The architect must truly have loved Hawaii…you can just feel that. The central courtyard that you see when first walking in is such a treat; I must have spent a good 45 minutes out there taking photos and just admiring, before I even went in to see the exhibit I was there to see.


  2. bulldog says:

    Looks a great place to go to….


  3. Colline says:

    Looks like an interesting place to visit.


  4. thirdeyemom says:

    Gorgeous! What a lovely museum Angeline.


  5. What a great building! So often museum and gallery buildings are like that – destinations worthy of study in themselves – I love that. 🙂


  6. Amyy says:

    Beautiful captures of arch door and gate, courtyard… The statue is really elegant. Thanks for sharing with us, Angeline!


  7. Thanks for this! We will be in HNL late Nov for a few days so will definitely go visit the museum.


  8. mihrank says:

    beautiful way to begin our Sunday!


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