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The Iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Partners with Bishop Museum to Restore Celebrated Art Collection
Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii (May 31, 2023)

Via Hawaii Public Radio

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

Learn more about Mauna Kea Beach Hotel here!