“Sen. Inouye made great contributions to our community and his loss is mourned by the museum.”—Honolulu Museum of Art director Stephan Jost.

The museum is honored to have served the senator in a small way. In 2009, always having Hawai‘i top of mind, Sen. Inouye turned to the museum to bring some aloha to Capitol Hill. He visited our Arts of Hawai‘i gallery and got a tour of the painting vault to select six paintings to hang in his office adjacent to the Appropriations Committee conference room at the Capitol. Pictured above is the senator viewing Lionel Walden’s 1924 painting Hawaiian Fisherman (which he did not choose) at the museum. Museum registrar Pauline Sugino accompanied the artwork to the Capitol, and says they were all visible from Inouye’s desk. She imagines him being able to “look at the paintings and remember home.”

Theresa Papanikolas, curator of European and American art, assisted the senator in making his final choices. “These six paintings—by Hawai‘i masters David Howard Hitchcock, Lionel Walden, and Shirley Russell—are among the finest examples in our Hawaiiana collection, and we’re proud that they have been displayed in such an auspicious location for the past three years.”

Today Office of Senate Curator Courtney Morfeld emailed Honolulu Museum of Art registrar Pauline Sugino regarding the works, saying they will be stored in the Senate’s collections vault while we make arrangements to bring them home.