Eugene Savage (1883-1978), a native of Indiana, arrived in Hawaii only to find himself soon engaged in the painting of nine 8’ wide and 4’ high murals for the Ocean Shipping Company. The murals, completed in 1940, were never used as Ocean Navigation Company’s ships were drafted for the war effort. In 1948, however, nine-color lithographed menu covers based on these designs made their appearance on the company’s flagship 'Lurline.'
Two years later Savage was bestowed the highest possible award of the American Institute of Graphic Arts for his menu covers, the Certificate of Excellence. A year thereafter The Smithsonian Institution exhibited them, and today the series is part of its permanent collection. For the collector of originals it's interesting to learn that Ocean Navigation Company also reprinted Savage menu covers for sale. Naturally, these have a lesser value than the printed and dated original menus featuring the dishes of the day. The recognition the artist received also prompted the application of many of his themes on products that range from aloha shirts to coffee mugs. Nowadays, Savage’s art is regarded the finest that the period produced and no collection of Hawaiian nostalgia would be complete without at least one example of Savage’s fine art. 3 images of the original series have become extremely rare, or are no longer available. The remaining 6 are now part of the Hawaiian Days portfolio.