Cornelia MacIntyre Foley: Hula Swing

Cornelia MacIntyre Foley: Hula Swing

Artist: Cornelia MacIntyre Foley
Title: Hula Swing
Medium: charcoal on buff paper
Dimensions: 24-1/2" x 18"
Date: 1937

An original work by Cornelia Foley is a true rarity to find and tonight we are most fortunate to offer one of her treasures for auction. One of Foley’s most famous works is the masterpiece, Hawaiian Woman in White Holoku, that was part of the Honolulu Academy of Arts 1992, “Encounters with Paradise--Views of Hawai’i and Its People”, curated by HPA alumnus David W. Forbes ‘ 59. Cornelia Foley is best known for her voluptuous paintings of Hawaiian women that celebrated their statuesque, sensuous beauty and grace. Major works by Foley are held by the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

With an extraordinary mastery of figurative drawing, Foley combines the “sensuous with the hypnotic” (Forbes, Encounters with Paradise, 1992). This is evident in Hula Swing where the rhythmic sway of the dancer’s hips is echoed in the graceful motion of her wispy grass skirt and the movement of her lei. We can imagine her dancing as she shakes the uli uli in synchrony with the hula; her hair flows in perfect opposition to her skirt. The strength and majestic nature of her beauty reflects Foley’s work with Madge Tennent who also celebrated the Hawaiian woman as a goddess. This evocative masterwork by an esteemed, living artist of the early 20th century will be a most memorable addition for any collection of important Hawaiian works.

Hula Swing is a charcoal drawing on buff paper, measuring 24-1/2” x 18”, signed, lower right, and dated 1937.

Cornelia MacIntyre Foley is an artist who was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i on January 31, 1909. She began her art training under the first art instructor the University of Hawai'i, Huc-Mazelet Luquiens (1881-1961). Foley continued her art education at the University of Washington, and spent two years studying art in London before returning to Hawai’i to marry Lieutenant Paul Foley of the United States Navy. Upon her return to her native Honolulu, she became an active and successful artist and printmaker; she also studied with Madge Tennent. In 1936 her canvas The Blue Sweater won the grand prize at the exhibit of the Association of Honolulu Artists, and in 1934 and 1937 she had solo shows at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Doug Frazer Fine Arts
Mr. Doug Frazer and Ms. Lisa Cabreza