Bill Christian (1924 - 2004)
Bill Christian was recognized as one of the leading artists and authorities on etched scrimshaw. Bill's work is represented in all leading scrimshaw collections’ in New Bedford, Gloucester, Mystic, New York, Boston, John F. Kennedy and the Smithsonian. Some of Bill Christian's work is registered in the Library of Congress. Very little of Bill Christian's works were ever available on the open market as it was originally offered to collectors of record by the museums listed above. A few hand selected galleries were fortunate enough to carry his works like, Lahaina Galleries.
Bill Christian lived a unique life style as an artist, writer, photographer, sea captain, diver, aviator, witch doctor, explorer and soldier of fortune which enabled him to compose on many subjects however, most of his works were of the ships of the sea. Bill Christian has been the topic of many writers and has appeared in National Geographic, Saturday Evening Post, This Week, Parade & Sunset Newspapers, radio and television.
Bill was dyslexic and had a photographic memory. He could walk down to a harbor, see a boat then return to his studio and etch it with incredible accuracy and detail. His dyslexia helped him see reflections in a different way which made it easy for him to visualize and duplicate. He wore a patch on one eye and a captain’s hat every day, he was every bit the character he appeared to be.
Bill Christian was and lived as a man of the sea and islands. He resided in the Bahia Islands of the Carribean, a plantation in Belize or one in Tahiti, a motor home on Maui or a penthouse in Waikiki. Bill Christian spent a lot of time in the 80- 90's aboard the old tramp freighter, “The Lahaina Turkey.”
*William John Bekins, also known as Bill Christian passsed away April 2, 2004 in Hale Makua, Kahului. They celebrated his life at Ukumehame Beach Park on Maui.