The Royal Hawaiian to Feature “The Travel to Hawaii Ads” Exhibit of Priceless Advertisements from the 1930s

August 7, 2015

Matson Navigation, the company that helped inspire generations of travel to Hawaii by building The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, is once again sharing rare treasures from its archives in a new exhibit at the Pink Palace of the Pacific.

“The Travel to Hawaii Ads Exhibit – a beautiful collection of advertisements from 1935 to 1941” opens to the public on Thursday, August 6 in the Coronet Lounge of the Royal Hawaiian, and features a variety of photos from the archives of the Matson Navigation Company.


The exhibit is getting a lot of great publicity! The New York Times featured the exhibit in their recent Wednesday Digest for travel news and the Los Angeles Times featured a story as well.

The photos used to make the ads were taken by famous photographers of the time, Anton Bruehl and Edward Steichen.

Matson ads appeared in magazines such as Vogue, National Geographic, Sunset, The New Yorker, Holiday, TIME and many more.

In 1937, a well-known hula dancer named Pualani Mossman became the Matson poster girl.


This is the sixth exhibit at The Royal Hawaiian for Matson archivist Lynn Blocker Krantz.

Lynn Blocker Krantz with Cheryl Williams, GM of The Royal Hawaiian

Lynn Blocker Krantz with Cheryl Williams, GM of The Royal Hawaiian

The other exhibits included Amelia Earhart in Hawaii, Hollywood’s Golden Age in Waikiki, Boat Days, The Waikiki Beach Boys, and The Vintage Menu Exhibit.

“Matson’s travel ads are like a porthole to the past — seeing what women wore — cute espadrilles and handbags with a nautical look toting an anchor,” said Krantz.


“I loved curating this exhibit and reading the ad copy. ‘The Royal Hawaiian Smile’ and the ‘Matson Poster Girl Pualani Mossman’ say it all – Welcome to Hawaii, Aloha!  It’s difficult not to be happy whenever I look at these ads.”

Matson Navigation Company was instrumental in the development of tourism to Hawaii and the South Pacific.


A fleet of Matson Lines cruise ships, the most famous being the S.S. Lurline, traveled from the mainland to Hawaii from the 1920s to 1960s.

Matson built The Royal Hawaiian in 1927 so luxury accommodations were both available afloat and ashore.

Matson photographers took thousands of snapshots of the celebrities and world-class travelers who traveled on its ships and vacationed in Waikiki.


Matson Navigation Company Archives encompass a vast collection of photographs and artwork from Matson Lines passenger and hotel era, 1920s to 1960s.

For more information, call The Royal Hawaiian at (808) 923-7311.

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