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 Robert Barnfield  (1856 - 1893)

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Lived/Active: Hawaii / England      Known for: landscape, coastal view, fish

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Robert Barnfield (1856-1893)

From Gloucester, England and the son of a retired naval officer, he started his career in an architecture firm in London.  Because of asthma, he went to New Zealand in 1883, and then in 1885 went to Hawaii on the ship "Explorer".  Barnfield remained in Honolulu, where he painted and gave art lessons, especially to several women in Honolulu.  He was interested in the current events of the island, and recorded in his diary the events that followed the death of the Hawaiian King, Kalakaua. He set up a studio in Oahu and stayed both there on the Queen Hospital Grounds and also spent much of the time in the Kona district on the big island.

Barnfield died in Honolulu, at age 38, on May 14, 1893.  Among his friends were artists Allen Hutchinson and W.F. Cogswell.

His watercolors of tropical fish, some of which were sent to the British Museum in 1891, with faithful renderings and accurate colors, have contributed to the knowledge of tropical fish.  His paintings are held in the collections of Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace, both in Honolulu.

Sources include:
David Forbes, Encounters With Paradise
Native Use of Fish in Hawaii, by Titcomb
The Honolulu Advertiser newspaper.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Robert Barnfield is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Artists who painted Hawaii

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