1886 Robert C. Barnfield Painting
This is a painting that was given to me by my father. I don't know if he bought it at an auction or bought it from an individual, but he may have got it in the '60s or '70s.
And what's this scene? Do you know anything about the scene?
Yes, this scene is a scene of Princess Ka'iulani and her governess sitting on a bench under her famous banyan tree at her land at 'Ainahau in Waikiki.
You're right. That banyan tree is very famous here because, of course, in some cases, this is called the father of all the banyan trees in Hawaii. People like Robert Louis Stevenson, Princess Ka'iulani, many people used to just simply hang out at her place. It was cool. It was a nice place to socialize. The artist is Robert C. Barnfield. It's dated at 1886, which makes it interesting again, because he was born in 1856 in England. Not a healthy man, had, uh, asthma; migrated to New Zealand. 1883-- came to the Phoenix Islands, and from there, later in 1885, came to Honolulu. He spent the rest of his life in Hawaii, um, dying in 1895. He was a very talented man, did, uh, watercolors that are in the holdings of the Honolulu Academy of Art, the Bishop Museum. The painting has a good deal of value. I think, in a retail setting, this would sell for over $30,000.
It's a really important part of Hawaiian history and it portrays an image connected with one of the favorite princesses of Hawaii.
It's a marvelous piece.
Thank you. It is beautiful. It's so sweet.
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