Charles W. Bartlett was one of the most important artists working in Hawai'i during the first half of the 20th century. Born in England in 1860, Bartlett entered the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1883. After three years of study, he entered the Académie Julian in Paris. In 1913, he traveled to Asia with his wife, visiting India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and China before arriving in Japan in 1915.
Bartlett left Japan in 1917, sailing back to England by way of Hawaii. He stopped in Honolulu and ended up settling there for the rest of his life. His paintings and woodblock prints were well-received in Honolulu, allowing Bartlett to become an important figure in the local art world.
Bartlett held a number of one-man shows in Hawai'i and on the U.S. mainland, and his paintings and prints were regularly published in Paradise of the Pacific magazine. In 1928, he co-founded the Honolulu Printmakers. An exhibition of Bartlett’s work was mounted at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1939, shortly before his death in 1940.
In 2002, the Honolulu Academy of Arts published A Printmaker in Paradise: The Art and Life of Charles W. Bartlett in tandem with a major retrospective of the same name.