Nearly sixteen hundred pieces of museum-quality Pacific and Asian art, which hotel-founder Laurance S. Rockefeller collected for the resort with geography and spirituality top of mind, are on display throughout Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Featuring Hawaiian kapa cloth, quilts, and kii (wooden images), Ainu kimono, glittery Thai icons, Maori canoe prows, bronze Indian chests, wooden carvings and many other museum-quality pieces. The pieces are positioned informally throughout the resort where guests can discover and experience them up close. A weekly art tour shares more about the collection’s history.
Michael Jones of Art Services Hawaii, and Dee Edmunds of the Resort’s engineering staff, painstakingly care for the entire collection of priceless objets d’art
"It’s an important collection because it was put together by an important person for a reason," said Jones. "Laurance Rockefeller knew art very well, and the collection was put together with two things in mind: geography and spirituality. The geography is the Pacific Rim. As far as spirituality, it’s all art that has something to do with people seeking some kind of spiritual life. From tribal to Buddhist – [from] very primitive efforts to extremely sophisticated ways of finding a spiritual life."