Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New book for Collectors! "Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art"

A new book about the important collection of Polynesian dealers Mark and Carolyn Blackburn is now available for purchase. Titled, "Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art," the book is an account of the Hawaiian couple's impressive Oceanic art holdings, compiled by Smithsonian curator Adrienne Kaeppler. 

Polynesian War Club Artifacts
The 448-page book profiles more than 1,000 objects from the Blackburn collection. Mark Blackburn, owner of Mauna Kea Galleries of Honolulu, began collecting nearly 40 years ago. Always fascinated with the stories of the many voyages of Captain Cook, he purchased his first artifact, a Maori hei-tiki, at a flea market in Hamburg, Germany. He has been avidly collecting ever since. 

On display in the book are sculptural pieces, paintings, photographs, bark cloth, paddles and clubs, drums, tools, bowls, weapons and more. The geographic spread of the collection is vast, covering the Pacific Ocean region from Hawaii to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to Aotearoa (New Zealand), and the many islands in between. 

The selections in this book are drawn from the geographic and cultural areas of Polynesia. The work profiles objects from all over and features some of Blackburn's favorite items: the Maori pieces of Hawaiian sculpture. 

The book was compiled by Adrienne Kaeppler, Chief Curator of Oceanic ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and designed by award-winning Hawaiian designer Barbara Pope. Featuring 804 color illustrations, descriptions and annotations, the book makes public for the first time what is (according to Kaeppler) - "probably the best private collection of Polynesia in the world."  

Items from the Blackburn collection have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a number of prominent museums and galleries around the world. 

The book is available for purchase at

Decorated kapa cloth; Hawaii.
Barkcloth, pigments, approx 1 m x 1.5 m.
Late 18th-early 19th century.

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