David Howard Hitchcock
Hilo, Hawaii / 1861-1943
Schooling in Paris laid the groundwork for Hitchcock to capture landscapes and dramatic views, such as his dioramas or mural-size paintings, in an iconic impressionistic style. Traveling thru Hawaii’s wild terrain in the 1900’s, he was one of the first artists to paint an untouched Waimea Canyon. Exposure to contemporary work in New York and Hawaii inspired Hitchcock to modernize his treatment of the landscape. A 1928 Honolulu Star-Bulletin review commented “some of his new efforts are said to be daring, tending toward the ‘modern’ but extreme.”
Hitchcock was a prime mover in the Honolulu arts scene as a founding force behind the Kilohana Art League (1894), a constant exhibitor at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, even given a retrospective exhibition there for his 75th birthday. Abroad, his paintings were shown and awarded in Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
Image by David W. Forbes in Encounters with Paradise, courtesy of the Honolulu Academy of Arts