POSTED: Sunday, May 10, 2009

Art show features imperial screens

Asian art lovers have until next Sunday to check out one of the Honolulu Academy of Arts' earliest coups, “;Cranes and Peaches,”; a pair of 7-foot-tall Korean screens lavishly decorated using gold and expensive mineral pigments. Made for imperial use, the 1927 acquisition is among the most opulent paintings to have survived from the court of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910).

In 2006, after the screens had developed problems with flaking pigments and gold leaf, the Korean government offered to send the work to the Gochang Conservation Institute, one of Korea's top painting conservation centers. In 2007 they were the focus of a special exhibition in the new National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

Academy founder Anna Rice Cooke, an avid collector of Korean art, gave her more than 100 Korean works to the academy, establishing what is now one of the finest Korean art collections outside Korea.

The current exhibit of “;Cranes and Peaches”; is the first time they have been shown at the academy in decades.


Other highlights

» The Honolulu Academy of Arts' monthly Family Sunday, which opens its doors free to the community, features a variety of art activities and topics 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Youngsters can enjoy a scavenger hunt, face painting and the Comedy Crusaders, who will entertain with ventriloquism and juggling. Parents can listen to the Faith and Praise gospel trio, and Tracy Nalani'eha Smith offers entertainment for all with her singing while on stilts and spinning poi balls. Plus, all galleries will be open. Call 532-8700.

» You know it's almost summer, thanks to the heat—and the annual tea bowl lecture/demonstration by the Urasenke Foundation of Hawaii, which kicks off a series of events for Hawaii Craftsmen's “;Raku Hoolaulea.”; The free demo runs 10 a.m. to noon at the East-West Center Teahouse. It's followed by a free clay workshop by Ed Higa of the Craftsmen at the University of Hawaii-Manoa art department's ceramics lab, just a stone's throw away from East-West Center. The hands-on event runs through 5 p.m. and is open to all ages. Space is limited, so RSVP at 521-3282 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

» If you're partial to felines, stop by the Gallery at Ward Centre for “;Cat's Meow,”; a collection of sculptures by Susan Hogan and pastels by Helen Iaea. The show continues through May 28. Call 597-8034.