Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House, is the only museum in the state dedicated exclusively to contemporary art between 1940 and the present. Housed in the historic Cooke-Spalding house in residential Makiki Heights neighborhood, a wide variety of works are on display at TCM.
Artists represented in the collection include such internationally renowned names as Josef Albers, Jennifer Bartlett, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, William Kentridge and Andy Warhol. The museum's Milton Cades Pavilion showcases a three-dimensional environment created in 1983 by British artist David Hockney, inspired by the Maurice Ravel opera, L'Enfant et les Sortiléges (The Child and the Enchantment). Call ahead or check TMC's website to confirm what's on view, since exhibitions change regularly and galleries sometimes close for maintenance.
The Contemporary Museum's five-acre gardens were designed and created between 1928 and 1941 by Reverend K. H. Inagaki. The sloping hillside is now an extensive sculpture garden featuring kinetic sculpture by George Rickey and bronze works by Saturo Abe, among others, plus picture-perfect views of Diamond Head and Honolulu. A secluded garden ravine named Nu'umealani, or Heavenly Terraces, create a retreat that the New York Times called "a cathedral of meditation." Century-old trees and hundreds of tropical plants flourish in the garden, among them purple-berried kopsia, monumental banyans, Chinese fan palms, breadfruit, and mango trees.
The museum café is a popular lunch destination. Reservations are recommended, and you can also order the "Lauhala and Lunch" picnic service for two. Call ahead or place your order before touring the museum, and then pick up a picnic basket and lauhala mat and find a spot for lunch anywhere on the museum grounds.
If you plan to tour the gardens or order the picnic lunch, make sure to bring mosquito repellent. The museum is small; expect to spend less than an hour inside and an hour or more on the grounds, plus time for the café.
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Comments about Smart Destinations The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu:
Great location, amazing views, interesting exhibits, and great place to have a picnic or stroll around the grounds.