Skinner Auctions
Skinner AuctionsBoston MA
January 23, 2015 04:00 PMCalender

David Howard Hitchcock (American, 1861-1943) Big Island of Hawaii

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 2779BLocation: BostonDate / Time: January 23, 2015 4:00PM


David Howard Hitchcock (American, 1861-1943)

Big Island of Hawaii
Signed and inscribed "D. HOWARD HITCHCOCK H.I." l.l.
Oil on canvas, 14 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (36.0 x 51.0 cm),frame probably of Koa wood.
Condition: Lined, scattered retouch.

Provenance: Descended within a Hawaiian family.

N.B. Native Hawaiian artist David Howard Hitchcock was born at Hilo in 1861. His earliest formal training was under Jules Tavernier, who traveled to Hilo in 1885 with fellow landscape painter Joseph Strong (1852-1899). Hitchcock joined the two artists on a sketching expedition to Kilauea volcano, which instilled in the young Hitchcock a love of painting as well as a special attachment to the forms and varied light qualities of volcanoes. In fact Hitchcock and Tavernier, along with Charles Furneaux (1835-1913),became known locally as the "Volcano School."

Tavernier became Hitchcock's life-long mentor and encouraged him to pursue formal training, both at the California School of Design and at the Académie Julian in Paris. Hitchcock was said to be the first Hawaii-born painter to receive formal art training in Paris. After his academic training, Hitchcock returned to Hawaii and continued to paint the landscape, gaining popularity and critical acclaim for his ability to capture the effects of tropical light. He had studios in Hilo and later Honolulu, and he traveled to and painted all the islands. He also played a major role in the development of the artistic community of Hawaii, helping found the Kilohana Art League and the Honolulu Art Society.
Estimate $15,000-20,000

Small areas of retouch to u.l. corner along the frame edge, measuring a maximum of three inches across and 1/4 inch high at the highest, then tapering down, likely to cover a paint loss right in the corner and then a small frame abrasion. Minor retouch to upper right corner. Scattered pinpoint does to the sky also on the left edge, maybe a dozen in all, with the largest being a 1/4 inch vertical line at center left edge. Scattered pinpoint dots of retouch to the sky on the right side. Multiple pinpoint dots of retouch in the water. Some fluorescence in the clouds which appears to be natural pigment fluorescence, rather than retouch.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


David Howard Hitchcock, Hawaii, Island of Hawaii, Hawaiian artist, N.B. Native Hawaiian artist, Joseph Strong, fellow landscape painter, Kilauea volcano, Charles Furneaux, Volcano School, Paris, California School of Design, Honolulu, Kilohana Art League, Honolulu Art Society