Christie’s is pleased to offer the following ancient bronzes from the collection of Anna Charlotte Rice Cooke (1853-1934). Mrs. Cooke was born into a prominent missionary family in Hawaii, where she spent the majority of her life. She and her husband, Charles Montague Cooke, were well known amongst the societal elite in Hawaii, and were eventually responsible for the establishment of the Honolulu Academy of the Arts, now called the Honolulu Museum of Art. In the early 1880s, the Cookes built their family home on Beretania Street, which would later become the present-day location for the Museum. Mrs. Cooke was a sophisticated art collector and patron, and as the years passed, the size of the Cooke family collection rapidly grew. Mrs. Cooke, along with the help of fellow art patrons, began the task of cataloguing the collection with the goal of eventually having it displayed for the benefit of the public. In 1924, with Mrs. Cooke’s assistance, Frank Montague was hired as the first director of the Academy, and the museum opened to the public in 1927. The Beretania Street home, along with a substantial grant and portion of their art collection, was given as a gift, and put on display for the people of Hawaii. While the original Cooke home was razed shortly thereafter in favor of the new Museum building, to this day, a number of items from the Cooke family collection can be seen on view in the galleries.
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY