Hilary Sholin, the museum’s annual giving coordinator, oversees the membership program and comes up with creative ideas to get more of you to join. She’s also one of our resident fashion plates, so we weren’t too surprised when she made a beeline to the Portrait Gallery when we asked her to name her favorite artwork. Here’s her answer:
“One of my favorite spaces in the museum is the Portrait Gallery. I love wandering through this hall to greet the ever-changing cast of characters. I wonder about who these people are—where they came from, what life was like in their neck of the woods, and how different or similar their lives may be to ours.
“One piece that has always piqued my interest is Alice Neel’s Marisol. Neel was a notable portrait artist whose subjects included people from all walks of life—strangers, friends and family, poets and artists. I discovered that Neel’s subject, Marisol Escobar, was herself an artist; I’m sure Honolulu residents will recognize her statue of Father Damien in front of the Hawaii State Capitol building. I used to live downtown and walk past this statue every day, so to find a portrait of its creator in my workplace was a fun discovery! I sometimes visit Marisol and wonder why she looks so worried, so concerned. I recognize her anxiousness—after all, haven’t we all been there at one time or another? I wish I could reassure her, be her friend, and offer a sympathetic ear to hear her troubles.
“I guess that’s what I find so cool about working at the museum—the artwork’s ability to bring people together—old and young, near and far, from the past and present!”
Alice Neel (American, 1900-1984)
Oil on canvas
Purchase, gifts of Clare Boothe Luce and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wise, by exchange; Prisanlee and Robert Allerton Funds, 1988 (5717.1)