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The Painted King – Art, Activism, and Authenticity in Hawaii - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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The Painted King: Art, Activism, and Authenticity in Hawaii

Glenn Wharton


The statue of Kamehameha I in downtown Honolulu is one of the state's most popular landmarks. Many people, however, are unaware that the statue is a replica; not the original. In 1996, the author (a conservator) was sent to assess the statue's condition, and what he found startled him: A larger-than-life brass figure painted over in brown, black, and yellow with “white toenails and fingernails and penetrating black eyes with small white brush strokes for highlights…It looked more like a piece of folk art than a nineteenth-century heroic monument.” This book is the author's account of his effor ... More

Keywords: Kamehameha I, Honolulu, Kohala Kamehameha statue, public art conservation, civic monument, Native Hawaiian past

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780824834951
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834951.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Glenn Wharton, author
Museum of Modern Art