Suzette D. Scotti writes on "Rekindling the Flame: The Role of Hawaii's Museums in Resurrecting Hawaiian Identity" in the Spring 2015 issue of The Journal of Art Crime, in the 2015 Spring Issue, edited by Noah Charney (with Marc Balcells and Christos Tsirogiannis) and published by ARCA:
On January 17, 1893, a group of influential American businessmen residing in Hawai’i staged a coup to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. The illegal occupation and subsequent annexation of Hawai’i by the United States threatened the Hawaiian culture with extinction. Today, three Honolulu museums – Bishop Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and ‘Iolani Palace – are striving to right the wrongs perpetrated against the Hawaiian nation by reviving, promoting, and celebrating Hawaii’s unique history, culture, and art. Their efforts are helping to salvage an endangered heritage by educating the public, Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian alike, about Hawaiian culture. Each in its own way is inspiring a resurgence of Hawaiian identity and a newfound pride in a nation whose language, customs, and art had been nearly eradicated. Like the newly emerging “museums of social justice,” they are raising public awareness of controversial issues in Hawaiian- American relations and inviting dialogue over contentious topics.
Suzette Scotti teaches Art History at Leeward Community College, a campus of the University of Hawai’i. She serves on the Board of the Hawai’i Museums Association and is a docent at the Honolulu Museum of Art. She taught for a decade in Rome, indulging her passion for Italian art, and has also lived in England, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan. She speaks fluent Italian and French. Suzette earned a B.A. in English from Vassar College, a Diploma in Legal Studies from Queens’ College, Cambridge University, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia, and a second M.A. in Art History from Louisiana State University. She first became interested in art crime while living in Rome, where she could see the looted obelisk of Axum from her living room window. She is a devoted supporter and happy graduate of ARCA.
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