On Oct. 31, 2015, the Bank of Hawaii closed its Kapahulu branch and sold the building, which was home to a set of five 1961 murals by acclaimed Hawaii artist Isami Enomoto depicting labor in the islands. The bank did not want to keep the murals, and when none of the state’s established art institutions were able to accept them, the Docomomo US/Hawaii Chapter assumed responsibility for the preservation of these artistically and historically important murals. The Bank of Hawaii donated the artwork, which was appraised at $50,000, to the organization.
To date, the Docomomo US/Hawaii Chapter has spent $5,000 for moving, crating, and storage of the works, which range in size from 6'-8"x6'-6" to 11'-2"x6'-2 , with the largest piece estimated to weigh 650 pounds. Happily, the Docomomo US/Hawaii Chapter has found a home for the murals at the Center for Education and Labor Research (CLEAR) at University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu, which has agreed to publicly display the murals.
However, it is estimated to cost $50,000 to prepare the wall, and clean, repair, move, and install the murals. The Docomomo US/Hawaii Chapter now seeks to raise the funds so the murals are preserved and can be shared with the people of Hawaii.