The Hawaiian Hall at the Bishop Museum contains the world's largest collection of Polynesian artifacts
|Location||1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, HI|
|Architect||William F. Smith|
|Architectural style||Richardsonian Romanesque|
|NRHP Reference #||82002500|
|Added to NRHP||July 26, 1982|
The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, designated the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, is a museum of history and science located in the historic Kalihi district of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai'i and is home to the world's largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. Besides the comprehensive exhibits of Hawaiiana, the museum's total holding of natural history specimens exceeds 24 million, of which the entomological collection alone represents over 13.5 million specimens (making it the third largest insect collection in the United States). The museum is accessible on public transit: TheBus Routes A, 1, 2, 7, 10.
The museum complex is home to the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center.
Charles Reed Bishop (1822-1915), a philanthropist and co-founder of Kamehameha Schools and of the First Hawaiian Bank, built the museum in memory of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1884) - the last legal heir of the Kamehameha Dynasty, which had ruled the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi between 1810 and 1872. Bishop had originally intended the museum to house family heirlooms passed down to him through the royal lineage of his wife.
Bishop hired William Tufts Brigham as the first curator of the Museum; Brigham later served as director from 1898 until his retirement in 1918.
The museum was built on the original boys' campus of Kamehameha Schools, an institution created to benefit native Hawaiian children as outlined in the Princess' last will and testament. In 1898, Bishop constructed Hawaiian Hall and Polynesian Hall in the then popular Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper dubbed the buildings "the noblest buildings of Honolulu". Both Hawaiian Hall and Polynesian Hall stand today and have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawaiian Hall is home to a complete sperm-whale skeleton with papier-mâché body suspended above the central gallery. Along the walls are prized koa wood display cases worth more than the original Bishop Museum buildings. It is also home to the Hawaiian Royal regalia, including the Hawaiian royal crown and the consort's crown.
In 1940, Kamehameha Schools moved to its new campus in Kapālama, allowing the museum to expand. Bishop Hall, which had been built for the school, reverted to museum use. Most other school structures were razed and new museum facilities were constructed. By the late 1980s, the Bishop Museum had become the largest natural and cultural history institution in Polynesia.
In 1988, construction of the Castle Memorial Building was begun. Dedicated on January 13, 1990, Castle Memorial Building houses all the major traveling exhibits that come to the Bishop Museum from institutions around the world.
The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center opened in November 2005. The building is designed as a learning center for children, and includes many interactive exhibits focused on marine science, volcanology, and related sciences.
Library and archives
The museum library has one of the most extensive collections of books, periodicals, newspapers and special collections concerned with Hawai'i and the Pacific.
The archives hold the results of extensive studies done by museum staff in the Pacific Basin as well as manuscripts, photographs, artwork, oral histories, commercial sound recordings and maps.
Many of Hawaiʻi's royalty, including Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Queen Liliʻuokalani, deposited their personal papers at Bishop Museum. Manuscripts in the collection also include scientific papers, genealogical records, and memorabilia.
The book collection consists of approximately 50,000 volumes with an emphasis on the cultural and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific, with subject strengths in anthropology, music, botany, entomology, and zoology. The library provides extra access to the collection of published diaries, narratives, memoirs, and other writings relating to 18th and 19th century Hawai'i.
Also on the campus is Pauahi Hall, home to the J. Linsley Gressit Center for Research in Entomology which houses some 14 million prepared specimens of insects and related arthropods, including over 16,500 primary types, making it the third largest entomology collection in the United States and the eighth largest in the world. An active research facility, Pauahi Hall is not open to the public. Nearby is Pākī Hall, home to the Hawaiʻi Sports Hall of Fame, a museum library and archives, open to the public.
From 1988 until 2009, the Bishop Museum also administered the Hawaiʻi Maritime Center in downtown Honolulu. Built on a former private pier of Honolulu Harbor for the royal family, the center was the premier maritime museum in the Pacific Rim with artifacts in relation to the Pacific whaling industry and the Hawaiʻi steamship industry.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Science Association (PSA), an independent regional, non-governmental, scholarly organization that seeks to advance science and technology in support of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific, has been based at Bishop Museum since PSA's founding in 1920.
Falls of Clyde
From 1968 until September 2008, the Bishop Museum owned the Falls of Clyde, the oldest sail-driven oil tanker which was moored at the Hawai‘i Maritime Center. In early 2007, the ship was closed to public tours for safety reasons and in order to facilitate repairs to the deteriorating tank, which frequently caused the ship to list dramatically. The decision was also made to conduct a more thorough inspection by marine experts. Between 1998 and 2008 the Museum incurred more than $2 million in preservation costs. The museum had threatened to sink the ship by the end of 2008 unless private funds were raised for a perpetual care endowment. On September 28, 2008, ownership was transferred to the non-profit group, Friends of Falls of Clyde, which intends to restore the ship.
In October of that same year, the Bishop Museum was criticized for having raised $600,000 to preserve the ship, and then proceeding to spend only about half that on the ship- for sandblasting that ultimately damaged the integrity of the vessel. The media also pointed out other questionable spending decisions.
Hale pili in Hawaiian Hall, 2010
Sperm whale model in Hawaiian Hall, 2010
Hawaiian Royalty wore these feathered cloaks and helmets. Hawaiian Chief's Feather Cloak ('ahu 'ula) and Helmet. The chief in the background is Kaiana
- Ray Jerome Baker, donor of a large collection of original prints, negatives, glass plate lantern slides, and ephemera
- Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
- J. T. Gulick, an early evolution proponent who advanced concepts now known as genetic drift, anagenesis, cladogenesis, and speciation, sold his shell collection to the Bishop Museum.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- Bishop Museum. "Research and Collections - Bishop Museum". bishopmuseum.org.
- "Aunty Pat Bacon Marks 50 Years at Bishop Museum". 25 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Derek Paiva (13 November 2005). "Close encounters at new science center". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Helen Alton (13 November 2005). "Bishop Museum's Excellent Adventure: Its new $17 million science center draws kids into interactive exhibits exploring Hawaii’s environment". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
- Rosemarie Bernardo (11 April 2009). "Bishop Museum cuts staff, hours: A reduction in hours is a first for the Hawaii institution". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
- Fujimori, Leila (2010-09-09). "What ever Happened to...". Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
- Hall, Sabrina (February 22, 2008). "Falls of Clyde May Have Sinking Fate". KGMB9 News Hawaii. Honolulu, HI, USA: Raycom Media. Archived from the original on January 9, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Bernardo, Rosemarie (2008-09-27). "Museum to transfer historic ship". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
- Christopher Pala (2008-10-18). "Historic Ship Stays Afloat, for Now". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum.|
- Official website
- Official website of the Amy B.H. Ethnobotanical Garden
- J. Linsley Gressitt Center for Research in Entomology
- Pacific Science Association
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. HI-25, "Bishop Museum, Bishop Hall, Likelike Highway, Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI", 2 photos, 1 photo caption page
- HABS No. HI-26, "Bishop Museum, Main Building, Likelike Highway, Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI", 11 photos, 1 photo caption page