Kapolei Library exhibits art of John M. Kelly, “the Gaugin of Hawaii”


Throughout the month of March, 2014, Kapolei Public Library is displaying the art works of John Melville Kelly (1878-1962), renowned ¬†throughout the United States for his etchings, oil paintings, lithographs, prints, and watercolors. He moved to Hawaii in 1923 and made it his home with his wife Kate, a sculptor and printmaker, who influenced him in pursuing various artistic mediums outside his past experiences as an illustrator, which he had done for the San Francisco Examiner for 14 years. Kelly depicted the life and culture of Hawaiians from the late 1920’s through early 1960. His subject matter dealt with daily activities that included beach recreation, fishing, sewing, and the marketplace. ¬†Kelly also captured the beauty of Hawaiian fruits and flowers and Hawaiian women and men. He is best known for his menu covers used by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Matson Cruise Lines, and he is often referred to as “the Gaugin of Hawaii.”


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