Arman Manookian: An Armenian Artist in Hawai'i by John Seed
by John Seed
About the Book
Outside of the Hawaiian Islands, few people have ever heard of Arman Manookian. He died young - he took his own life at the age of 27 - and less than 30 of his oil paintings can be accounted for. Still, to those who knew him, Manookian was a legendary and fascinating figure. "For years after his demise," said writer and historian Julius Rodman, "his legend was very much alive in Honolulu."
In his six years in Hawaii, Manookian bloomed as an artist, just as Vincent Van Gogh had during his sojourn in Arles. Manookian wandered in the pristine Manoa Hills, marveling at the exotic flora. He also loved to sketch the ramshackle homes that could still be found on the local beaches, and was charmed by the Hawaiian people, whom he often painted with classical dignity. Manookian painted mythological and historical scenes with equal fervor, infusing them with drama and energy.
This book contains John Seed's groundbreaking article about Manookian, originally published in Honolulu Magazine in November 2001. The article won a Society of Professional Journalist's Award as the best Arts and Entertainment article published in Hawaii that year. It also contains over 27 color images of Manookian's rare paintings as well as the text of "In Memoriam," a funeral oration for the artist written in 1931 by Manookian's close friend Arthur A. Greene.
John Seed is a professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. Winner of a 2002 Society of Professional Journalists award in art and entertainment writing, he has written about art and artists for Harvard Magazine, Maui No Ka Oi, Honolulu, Christie's Hong Hong, Arts of Asia, Art Ltd. and Stanford Magazine. He also blogs for the HuffingtonPost Arts and Culture section and Hyperallergic.com