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Five Maui museums to present Women’s History Month exhibitions

By Staff | Feb 27, 2020

A family checks out an archive exhibition on life in plantation camps.

LAHAINA – This March, five Maui museums from across the island will commemorate the vital role of women in local history in the first of four quarterly collaborative exhibitions under the banner “Celebrate Maui Museums.”

Lacking a large centralized institution, Maui prides itself on small, unique museums. Through collaboration via the promotion “Celebrate Maui Museums,” the public is invited to experience these local stories and exhibits in museums located in Wailuku, Lahaina, Makawao and Puunene.

The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum in Puunene will present “Women in Hawaii’s Sugar Plantations.” This exhibit will explore the role of women in Hawaii’s sugar history through objects, photos and personal stories.

Lahaina’s Baldwin Home Museum will feature a tour overlay that focuses on the role of Kealoha, a beloved teacher, children’s nurse, caretaker and companion within Dr. Baldwin’s family and home. The exhibit is titled “Kealoha: A Life of Earnest Devotion.”

In its exhibit, “Honoring Three Upcountry Women,” the Makawao History Museum will present vignettes about the lives of three Upcountry women: Ethel Baldwin, leader of the local women’s suffrage movement; Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to the U.S. Congress; and Gordean Bailey, Miss Hawaii 1959 and a kumu hula today.

The exhibit “Gertrude Vierra: Preserving Wo Hing” on display at the Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse will celebrate the pivotal role Vierra played in saving and restoring the Wo Hing Society buildings on Front Street in Lahaina.

Hale Ho’ike’ike at Bailey House Museum will present “Hawaiian Women’s Fashion: Kapa, Cotton, and Silk,” an exhibit on the fashion of Hawaiian women. This exhibit is being held in conjunction with the launch of the book by the same name by Agnes Terao-Guiala, which will be available for purchase at the museum.

All exhibits are included in the regular admission fees for each museum. Hours and days of operation vary between museums and can be found on Facebook @CelebrateMauiMuseums.

The Maui Museum Group (Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Makawao History Museum, and Maui Historical Society) has launched the “Celebrate Maui Museums” initiative to highlight the wonderful and unique diversity and history of Maui County.

In 2020, “Celebrate Maui Museums” will feature a series of exhibitions themed to four national celebrations and hosted by museums from across the island.

“Celebrate Maui Museums” is partially funded by a grant from the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.

For more information, visit Facebook @CelebrateMauiMuseums or contact Kimberly Flook at (808) 661-3262 or kimberly@lahainarestoration.org.