The Jean Charlot Collection (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)


English; SILVER–GILT BADGE of the Antigallicans; Victoria and Albert Museum Artstor is collaborating with The Jean Charlot Collection at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Library in Honolulu to share approximately 300 images of artworks by Jean Charlot (1898-1979).

Charlot was born in Paris and died in Honolulu. Known as an artist, teacher and scholar, he was also a critic, poet, and playwright. His output of drawings, paintings, murals, prints, sculptures, illustrations and cartoons, as well as books, articles, and other writings was prodigious. Wherever he lived—whether in France, Mexico, New York, Georgia, Colorado, Hawai'i or Fiji—his life was full of significant connections with artists and writers, indigenous and working people, influential figures in art and educational institutions, and the Roman Catholic Church. He observed art, events and people precisely, wrote frankly and succinctly, often wittily. He preserved the records of his encounters, together with those of his own creative and scholarly life, in the original artworks, archival documents, research photographs, audiovisual materials, memorabilia and the publications of his personal library that became the basis of the Jean Charlot Collection. Donated for purposes of education and research to the University of Hawai'i by his widow, Zohmah Charlot (1909-2000), the Collection has served scholars, artists, students, art lovers and collectors from around the world since it opened in 1983.

The Collection's strengths include materials on Mexican art and archaeology, particularly relating to the revolutionary artists and writers of the 1920s, and Charlot's place among them; resources on mural painting, especially the fresco technique he employed so often in his own murals; the records of his long association with Paul Claudel; and sources on diverse subjects—for example printmaking, liturgical art, portraiture, children's book illustration, Hawaiian history, language and culture—that relate to his body of work in many media. Charlot was known for his path-breaking color lithography, and the Collection holds a master set of his prints. His enduring interest in popular art is shown in collections he formed of 18th and 19th-century popular prints, including wood engravings from the French town of Épinal; engravings, etchings and chromolithographs of the Mexican José Guadalupe Posada; the lithographs of Henri Daumier; and European vues d'optique. In keeping with Charlot's vision, the Archives of Hawai'i Artists and Architects has been established and holds the papers of Hawai'i artists and architects he came to know after he arrived in Hawai'i in 1949.

The images in the Artstor Digital Library encompass a selection of Charlot's works from private collections and institutional holdings, including the Jean Charlot Collection, which is also supplying both images and cataloging information for all the works displayed. Support for preservation, documentation and digital photography of many works has been provided by The Jean Charlot Foundation, established in 1968 to perpetuate Charlot's legacy, encourage artists and scholars in their work, and promote the social and intercultural aspects of art. The Collection acknowledges the participation of the Visual Resources Librarian of the University's Department of Art and Art History in the selection, and the assistance of the Manager of the Jean Charlot Estate LLC who also granted permission to reproduce the works shown.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 300
Percentage of completion 30%

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: October 29, 2014

Image Credits

Jean Charlot, Seated Indian, 1933. Photograph: © The Jean Charlot Estate LLC. For reproduction inquiry, contact John Charlot (charlot at hawaii dot edu), Work: © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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