Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian objects and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of objects, documents and photographs about Hawai‘i and other Pacific island cultures.
Mr. Bishop built the magnificent Polynesian and Hawaiian Halls on the grounds of the original Kamehameha Schools for Boys. The Museum and School shared the Kapālama campus until 1940 when a new larger school complex was opened nearby on Kapālama Heights.
Today, Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. Serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum.
Mission: Bishop Museum inspires our community and visitors through the exploration, celebration, and perpetuation of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
Strategic Vision: From 2016-2026, the Bishop Museum will champion a decade of strategic transformation, vigorously re-energizing and re-investing in its mission to inspire our community and visitors through the exploration and celebration of the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
Melanie came to the Museum in January 2018 with more than 27 years of experience in museum planning, design, and program development experience from her work as a principal of Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), a multi-disciplinary, planning and design firm with active projects in over twenty countries, including work on the Hawaiian Hall and Pacific Hall restoration projects from 2005-2013. She also led development of an interpretive master plan for the Museum in 2014, and was deeply aware of the Museum’s collections, scholarship, and potential.
“I believe that Bishop Museum is an unparalleled resource for Hawaiian and Pacific cultures and environments, with immense untapped potential. It is uniquely positioned to explore and interpret the world through multiple forms of knowledge, rooted in both cultural and scientific practices. In addition to opening up new worlds to us, museums contribute to the making of place, culture, community and shared memory. I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to nurture, develop, and strengthen one of Hawai‘i’s most treasured resources.”
Board Of Directors
Pitluck, Kido & Aipa, LLP
HSM Concepts, Inc.
Vice President of Community Development
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Director of Philanthropic Partnerships
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Community Director of Cultural Affairs
Mauna Lani Resort
University of Hawaii – West Oahu
President, Native Sun Business Group Inc.
Executive Director, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Executive Director, Hawaii & Asia Pacific &
Director of Strategic Partnership for the Julie Ann
Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at
Arizona State University
President and CEO
Professor of Anthropology
University of Hawaii, Manoa
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
Community Leader & Philanthropist
Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation
Executive VP and Mortgage Banking Manager
Bank of Hawaii
Senior VP & Division Manager
First Hawaiian Bank
A&B Properties, Inc.
Hui Nohona Manager for Administration
Partners In Development Foundation
Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel
CPA and Retired Managing Director,
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Director of Real Estate and Development
Founder & Principal
Hanalei Commercial, Inc.
Senior Vice President, Center for Oceans
Richard L. Humphreys
Bishop Museum Association Council
The Bishop Museum Association Council (BMAC) is a volunteer group dedicated to supporting membership activities at Bishop Museum. These activities are primarily focused on the growth and retention of membership at the Museum. For example, the BMAC specifically coordinates content for programs like Traditions of the Pacific and science talks. To learn more about the BMAC or how you can get involved, please contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808.847.8296.
William K. Richards, Chair
Diane Paloma, 1st Vice Chair
Randall Monaghan, 2nd Vice Chair
Coochie Cayan, Secretary
Dylan Ching, Treasurer
Linda Lee Kuʻuleilani (Cissy) Farm
MaryLou H. Foley
Samuel M. ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III
G. Umi Kai
Be a Part of Our Story
Celebrate the extraordinary history, culture, and environment of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific with a gift to Bishop Museum. As a partner in the Museum’s work, you can help to sustain vital collections, research, and knowledge, and inspire exploration and discovery with a tax-deductible donation.