Holden, c.1838 (engraved at Lahainaluna, Hawaii)

Holden (Massachusetts),c. 1838, engraved at Lahainaluna, Hawaii
Edward Bailey, Artist
Kapeau, Engraver
copper plate engraving
Unrestored original condition
as found in original condition, complete and good impression, full margins, period paper, vertical fold down center line, some other creasing evident, foxing, pin hole damage in top corners of sheet, good condition overall
Dimensions: 
3.875 × 7.625 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale
Price: 
$47,500.00

Edward Bailey, teacher, artist, craftsman, surveyor, naturalist, businessman, and man of many other skills drew this image of the town common of Holden, Massachusetts. It is a summer landscape and the tall trees surrounding the town common are in full leaf.  Whether young Edward Bailey drew this detailed portrait of his cherished home before leaving Holden for Boston in December, 1836 to embark with Caroline Hubbard, his new wife, also a teacher, to teach Hawaiian pupils at the secular mission schools of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions ("ABCFM")  in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) or from memory during their three month journey on the Bark Mary Frazier to the Sandwich Islands we do not know. 1/The Holden town common today remains largely as it is represented in Bailey's print approximately 181 years ago.

The print Holden is a Hawaiian 19th century copper plate engraving of Edward Bailey's drawing and it was made at the Lahainaluna Seminary engraving studio on Maui. By 1837, the Seminary included a permanent stone building, the Hale Pai, or Printing House for its printing press and a separate room for the engraving studio. Holden has been dated to 1838 by David W. Forbes, whose book is the definitive text on Lahainaluna engravings.2/ While the Baileys arrived at Honolulu in 1837, and were only later assigned to Lahainaluna in 1839 by the ABCFM General Meeting in Honolulu for Edward Bailey to direct the nonacademic aspects of the Lahainaluna Seminary, Edward Bailey traveled frequently prior to 1839 from Honolulu to ABCFM mission stations on other islands, including Maui as noted in Caroline's letters. Bailey's wide ranging educational and artistic interests may have prompted an early visit to Lahainaluna Seminary's engraving studio with his personal drawing of Holden in hand to collaborate with Rev. Andrews and George Kapeau, his skilled apprentice and student who began at the Seminary in 1837. Forbes explains that Kapeau had a "chiefly rank" and was a distinguished Lahainaluna Seminary graduate who served in the Hawaiian legislature's House of Nobles, ultimately became Governor and then a judge.

The Lahainaluna Seminary engraving studio created a variety of local Hawaiian views most of which were also drawn by Edward Bailey.3/ Bailey drew the panoramic view of Honolulu as Seen from the Foot of Puawaina Punchbowl Hill regarded by Forbes as one of the most important of the Lahainaluna engraved views (1838). Bailey also drew expansive views of Lahainaluna itself. These black and white engravings of Lahainaluna, large with landscape that dominates the few scattered faculty houses, Seminary building, printing house and scholars' houses are prints about the printing studio itself, a contemporary artist's interpretation of a place he knew from direct experience and about place making. The Lahainaluna engraved views were the first Hawaiian produced views of Hawaii with text written in Hawaiian.4/ Members of the ABCFM Sandwich Islands mission sent Lahainaluna engraved views and other prints back to family members as the only and best way to show what their life in Hawaii looked like. It remains true today that Bailey's Lahainaluna engraved views of Hawaii and of Holden, both created prior to photography remain unique, iconic views of these locations as interpreted by Hawaiian engravers.

Notably, Holden is the only New England view and the only view outside of Hawaii produced by the Lahainaluna Seminary engraving studio.7/  As such, this view is unique in the portfolio. While Bailey's best known views printed by the Lahainaluna engraving studio may be of his drawings of the Sandwich Islands, the Lahainaluna engraving  Holden stands out as Bailey's personal and only view of an American scene, notably his cherished home. Forbes lists ten recorded examples of Bailey's Holden engraving, this example likely having local provenance and being a newly discovered eleventh.

Notes:

1/Original letters written by Edward Bailey exist in the records of the ABCFM at Harvard's Houghton Library. My appreciation of Edward Bailey and of his deep conviction that it was his life mission to "Go teach all nations" in the Sandwich or South Sea Islands was acquired by reading Bailey's impassioned 1835-1836 letters to the ABCFM in which he beseeched the Commissioners to take him on as a missionary. Accepted instead as a teacher, Edward Bailey, with his wife Caroline Hubbard Bailey had lives that extended well beyond the initial foundation of their roles teaching both girls and boys at the ABCFM Sandwich Island mission schools. The scope of Bailey's life in Hawaii expanded into every aspect of inquiry. . He lived most of his adult life in the Sandwich Islands, remaining after 1849 when the ABCFM closed the last mission schools and the Hawaiian government assumed responsibility for local education. In 1888, Caroline and Edward Bailey moved to Oakland, California and joined several of their adult sons and families. Edward Bailey concentrated on his life as a fine art painter. Caroline died in 1894 and Edward Bailey died in 1903. They both had lived extraordinary lives beyond their original, rural environment in Holden, Massachusetts shown in the "Holden" print.

2/The authoritative book on Lahainaluna engraving is Engraved at Lahainaluna, A History of Printmaking by Hawaiians at the Lahainaluna Seminary, 1834 to 1844 by David W. Forbes, published by the Hawaiian Children's Missionary Society in 2012. All known views are illustrated in Forbes' catalogue of these prints.  Therefore, I refer the reader to this beautiful book. The life of Edward and Caroline Bailey is presented in the work of Linda McCullough Decker, Edward Bailey of Maui, Teacher & Naturalist, Engineer & Artist, whose work at Maui's Bailey House, Edward Bailey's home of 45 years, led her to write the principal work on his life and fine art, based on the author's access to original sources in Hawaiian institutions. These books together create an exceptional history of the ABCFM mission to the Sandwich Islands, an art history of Hawaii and literally a picture of Edward and Caroline Bailey's lives and work, both in the Sandwich Islands and later in California and of the artwork created at the Lahainaluna Seminary Press.

3/ Forbes, Engraved at Lahainaluna, A History of Printmaking by Hawaiians at the Lahainaluna Seminary, 1834 to 1844.

4/ Rev. Lorrin Andrews is credited with convincing the ABCFM to establish the Lahainaluna Seminary printing studio on Maui, the second printing operation established after the initial press in Honolulu.

From 1834 through 1836 Rev. Andrews experimented with materials and engraving technique until his efforts, in concert with his Seminary students began to produce promising results with maps for an atlas in proof sheets.  In 1839, Rev. Andrews sent engravings to Boston for ABCFM officials to see and these accomplishments prompted new support for the engraving studio consisting of supplies, equipment and some funds.

As an educator, Lorrin Andrews regarded geography, map drawing and map making essential elements of the new higher education curriculum at the school.  He was committed to the goal of Hawaiian students at the Seminary making map engravings in their own language that were useful for study. After graduation certain of Lorrin Andrews' students later became surveyors and contributed to the mapping of Hawaiian land and official land records. Under Rev. Lorrin Andrews' direction, the Lahainaluna Seminary students learned the art of engraving and produced maps, charts, primarily Hawaiian views, a newspaper and other engraved graphic materials, including paper currency. This successful "experiment" at Lahainaluna together with the ABCFM printing office in Honolulu produced a 19th c. level of literacy in the Hawaiian language in the Hawaiian Islands that Forbes describes as unmatched in the region.

5/ The Lahainaluna Seminary engraving studio observed the printmaking convention of recognizing both the artist and the engraver on the engraving plate. This convention was observed written in Hawaiian. On the print Holden on either side of the title are the following credits for the author and engraver respectively, English translation in parenthesis by me:

"Na Bailey i kakau" (drawn by Bailey) and Na Kapeau i kaha (engraved by Kapeau)."

Forbes credits Kapeau as being one of Rev. Andrews' most talented engravers and George Kapeau's name as engraver is on the Holden print. Id. at p.17 and p. 22. Kapeau also engraved Bailey's drawing of a view of the Wailuku Female Seminary on Maui, that sat near Bailey's house.

6/ The other artists were Lucy (and possibly Persis) Thurston (sisters), and one flower print by Mrs. Parnelly P. Andrews.

7/In David Forbes' book, Plate 44.

Bibliography:

Edward Bailey of Maui, Teacher & Naturalist, Engineer & Artist
Linda McCullough Decker
RainSong 2010

Engraved at Lahainaluna, A History of Printmaking by Hawaiians at the Lahainaluna Seminary, 1834 to 1844,
with a Descriptive Catalogue of All Known Views, Maps, and
Portraits
David W. Forbes
Hawaiian Children's Missionary Society
Honolulu, Hawaii 2012.

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The Back Room