Morris Museum Loan Friday: Hawaii

Aloha museum goers! It’s #MorrisMuseumLoanFriday here again at the Morris Museum and the Museum Loan Department has decided to show off one of its boxes that contains both beauty and history, Hawaii. Since this Saturday is the Anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor, what better way of remembering that date then by learning about the wonders of Hawaii’s itself.


King Kamchameha I (1753-1819) was the son of Keoua Kupuapaikalaninni, the chief of Kohala (the big island, Hawaii).  In 1794 the King conquered Maui, took his army to Waikiki and defeated Kalanikupule, King of Oahu.  By 1810, he ruled all the islands and was the founder of a dynasty followed by Kamehameha II, III, IV, and V and Queen Liliuokalani.  She was deposed when Hawaii was annexed by the USA in 1898.

As an annexed territory with close and strong ties to the United States, Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese in World War II on December 7th 1941.  The attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor was a great shock to the American people and within a few days US declared war on Japan and the other Axis powers, Germany and Italy.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that Pearl Harbor will be “a date that will live in infamy”.  Within 20 years after that attack Hawaii officially became the 50th state in 1959. 

Jack Matthews’, Colorful Picture : In tracing 25 years of history since the territory of Hawaii became the state of Hawaii, artist Jack Matthews focuses on the people.  Not the movers and doers who shaped the issue, but the average all-of-us.

In that territory, there were people demonstrating a special spirit called Aloha.  And in today’s Hawaii – as the theme for our 25th Anniversary proudly proclaims – that the spirit lives on.

So what’s more natural to celebrate an anniversary and a unique spirit than a parade?  It immediately tells us that an event of importance is being commemorated and that there’s reason to celebrate.  In fact, the informality of this parade suggests that spontaneity is common in Hawaii when there is an occasion of great happiness.

But this is an unusual parade, because it proceeds not just along the parade route, but through time.  You’ll see that the parade begins on the back cover.  There the artist uses sepia to set the aged tone of the parade that began in 1959.  Then as we move into our 1984 celebration, color brightens the painting and we’re all there, demonstrating the reality in today’s world of Hawaii’s gentle Aloha spirit.

The Museum Loan is a great tool for teachers, librarians and home school parents! It enriches lessons by hands –on learning experiences. We have exhibit boxes that range from American History, art, birds, countries, vertebrates and everything in between that they present to their students.

For more information, you can visit on our web page:

or call us at 973.971.3709.