Curator Tory Laitila shares his na‘auao at the Smithsonian

Now on view at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, is the exhibition 1898: US Imperial Visions and Revisions, the Smithsonian’s first major exhibition on US Imperialism and the pivotal conflicts of 1898, which include the Joint Congressional Resolution to annex Hawai‘i, five years after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy by the insurgent Committee of Safety formed by white businessmen.

HoMA Curator of Textiles and Historic Arts of Hawai‘i Tory Laitila has been involved in this groundbreaking show. He did an audio tour recording on the Hawai‘i State Archives’ William Cogswell portrait of Queen Lili‘uokalani that you can listen to here.

Then in September, Laitila attended the Edgar P. Richardson Symposium at National Portrait Gallery. He joined six other curators, including former HoMA Curator of the Arts of Hawai‘i Healoha Johnston (now Director of Cultural Resources at Bishop Museum), from across the country in giving gallery talks in the exhibition. Laitila spoke about a Hawaiian Coat-of-Arms quilt from the collection of the National Museum of American History, connecting its provenance to the Maui wildfires.


Pictured above: Tory Laitila fills visitors in on a Hawaiian Coat-of-Arms quilt in the exhibition 1898: US Imperial Visions and Revisions at the National Portrait Gallery.
Photo: Anna Beth Corson/Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery