Duke Kahanamoku Exibit

Photo used courtesy of Bishop Museum.
Photo used courtesy of Bishop Museum.

The Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, will honor the legacy of Duke Kahanamoku in a special exhibit from August 9 to November 30, 2015 in the J. M. Long Gallery. This exhibit will illuminate the many facets of Duke as an Olympian, surfer, ocean hero, movie star, ambassador of aloha, and family man. Duke, a public figure unrivaled in grace and humility, was a four-time Olympic participant and one of the greatest swimmers and surfers of all time.

This original Bishop Museum exhibit brings to life the truly Hawaiian story of Honolulu-born Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of his birth. His simple beginnings, island heritage, international fame, and lasting legacy will all be explored with a unique collection of archival video and photographs, objects from his life, and fun activities that allow visitors to surf and play with one of Hawaii’s greatest native sons. Visitors can take control of a replica of Duke’s surfboard to reenact his legendary 1917 ride in a 3D video game environment, allowing them to experience how Duke rode a towering wave for more than a mile at Waikīkī on a finless board. The exhibit will also have a “Race Duke” swimming interactive where visitors will try to replicate Duke’s 1920 Olympic record time in the men’s 100 meter freestyle by using a table top upper body pedal exerciser.

“We’re honored to create an inspiring exhibit of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku’s extraordinary life,” said president and CEO of Bishop Museum, Blair D. Collis. “‘Aloha is my creed’ is what he lived by, and he took his passion and built an enduring legacy with hard work and strong ethics. These are great lessons, especially for future generations to experience.”

To complement this monumental exhibit, Bishop Museum has partnered with the Honolulu Theatre for Youth to create a stage play about the extraordinary life of Duke Kahanamoku opening on October 16. 

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