Fritz Abplanalp

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The Offering (Hawaiian Dancer) monkeypod carving by Abplanalp, c. 1941, Honolulu Museum of Art

Fritz Abplanalp (1907 – 1982) was a Swiss woodcarver.

Life[edit]

Born in Switzerland, at 18 years of age, after completing a three-year curriculum in woodcarving, he answered an advertisement to work on the interior of the Episcopalian Convent of the Transfiguration in Glendale, Ohio.

In 1935, he was recruited by the department store S. and G. Gump and Company to come to Hawaii and produce hand carved souvenirs. He carved wooden perfume containers, screens, trays, lamps, and figural sculptures for sale in the store, and also produced special-order woodworking for homes and commercial interiors. In 1939, he won the grand prize at a Honolulu Museum of Art exhibition.

In 1942, with the war rendering Hawaii’s tourism nonexistent, he joined the faculty of Kamehameha Schools to teach woodworking and drafting. He retired from Kamehameha Schools in 1968, to Carmel California. He died in 1977. Abplanalp's monkeypod sculpture, The Offering (Hawaiian Dancer), is owned by the Honolulu Museum of Art.

References[edit]

  • Blackburn, Mark A., Hawaiiana, The Best of Hawaiian Design, Atglen, Pennsylvania, Schiffer Pub., 2001, 227.
  • Papanikolas, Theresa and DeSoto Brown, Art Deco Hawai'i, Honolulu, Honolulu Museum of Art, 2014, ISBN 978-0-937426-89-0, pp. 53-56.
  • Severson, Don R., Finding Paradise, Island Art in Private Collections, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, 206-213.