While the name Shangri-La may conjure up an image of the mythical place from the book (and popular 1937 film) _Lost Horizon_ by James Hilton, this particular Shangri-La is the Honolulu home of Doris Duke. The home is widely considered one of Hawaii's most architecturally significant homes, and overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head. Duke was the heir to the fortune of James Buchanan Duke (the benefactor of Duke University, which bears his name), and at a young age, developed a fascination for the multifaceted cultural traditions of the Islamic world. She built Shangri-La in the late 1930s as a home and refuge, and as a place to showcase the hundreds of acquisitions she had made across the Middle East and South Asia. The site allows visitors to learn more about the eclectic architecture of the home and its grounds and, equally important, the opportunity to view selected pieces from her collection of over 3500 objects of art. In addition, visitors to the site can learn about the various conservation programs sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the other Duke properties, such as the Duke Farms in central New Jersey.


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