Window Shade, "Hawaii", 1938–39 Hand painted on canvas. Gift of Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. 2009-17-3.
What is this?
Hawaii shows a female dancing the Hula on a pedestal. She is surrounded by tropical motifs including palm tree, dolphins, pineapple, tropical fish, and volcanic mountains. Located beneath her are a figure on a surfboard and three bowls of poi. Hawaii is the birthplace of the hula dance and surfing.
Why is this in our collection?
This is one of six window shades created for the theater in the Hollywood Wing of Duke Farms in New Jersey. The original house, which dates to 1893, was the home of James Buchanan Duke, an industrialist who made his fortune in tobacco and hydroelectric power. Duke gained a competitive edge by being the first person to successfully use machines to roll cigarettes. The Hollywood Wing (1938–39) was added by his daughter, Doris Duke. The theater was designed by Thomas White Lamb, one of the foremost theater and cinema architects of the late 19th and early 20th century. Lamb designed many of the best-known theaters in New York City, including the Ziegfeld Theater (1927), Madison Square Garden (1925), and the... more