Rare Manookian Paintings Removed from Hawaii Hotel

Arman Manookian (1904-1931) "Hawaiian Boy and Girl" 1928.

Seven rare oil paintings by Armenian-American artist and Genocide survivor Arman Tateos Manookian (1904-1931) were removed from the historic Hotel Hana in Hawaii earlier this year, where they had been kept for more than 60 years. Considered daringly modern when they were first shown, the paintings are said to be worth six figures. John Seed discusses this and the artist’s work in a piece in Thursday’s Huffington Post.


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  1. Vanessa Kachadurian said:

    Where are these works of treasure going? I had a chance to tour this hotel 12 years ago and these paintings were beautiful. the artist like Gorky died young. Very tragic.

    • John Seed said:

      Vanessa, all I know at this point is that three were sold. I am going to write a follow-up article for Maui magazine, and I hope to find out more about where the paintings are. Thank you for your interest. John Seed

      • Vanessa Kachadurian said:

        Thank you John for writing about Manookian in the Huffington Post.
        It would be interesting to find out if there is an Manookian estate that owns the rights to his work. I really can see his images on T shirts and other Hawaiian memorablia. Even on limited edition plates.

        • John Seed said:

          Vanessa, because all of his works are over 70 years old they are all in the public domain. For that reason you will see some Manookian items on the net already.

  2. Satenik said:

    It is always a pleasure to read about Armenian painters and artists in general . Arman Manookian is not a painter that one reads a great deal about so it’s wonderful to read such articles . I would like to know how the paintings ended up in that particular hotel in the first place ( forgive my ignorance) and if they have ended up in Armenian homes or art institutions of any sort. The works of the Armenian painters do surface in the London auction houses from time to time but in the Important Russian Art Sales at Christies London, the paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky are prices the highest, more than Shishkin’s or Repin’s to name just the two of Russia’s outstanding masters in paintings. What I would like to see is more exposure of the beauty of the Armenian paintings at the International level. We have fantastic painters and some wonderful paintings that are hardly known or very little written about. I’m afraid even the experts at the top auction houses are completely ignorant about most Armenian artists and more should be written about these gems.

  3. John Seed said:

    Just wanted to post an update to this story. In an interesting twist, it now appears that only three of the paintings were authentic Manookians. The others had been commissioned by the hotel in the 1950s and were Manookian look-alikes. John Seed

  4. Hye Garlicky Basterma said:

    Arman was not a survivor of Genocide since he took his own life. He probably had PTSD. Arman was only 5′ 5”. You could imagine his facination with Tall Ships, exploration and adventure. He was amazed at the phiseques of the subjects and how strong they wre. In Hawaii, which has an obesety epidemic because of the introduction of Spam, the people were in fantastic shape. If you look at his paintings, you will always notice that the merchants selling fruit to the sailors or Marines are either gazing at the huge ships or are sitting or kneeling while negotiating prices. But, when the subjects are left to their own, you cannot but be mezmorized by the bueaty.

    Interestingly, nobody knows where Arman is burried just like so many other Genocide victims. We should be told where he is burried so as to have a proper buriel for him considering his huge contributions.