JULY 09, 2015
When Caricature is Considered Portraiture
"[Aspects of the painting] were modified by the artist to fit a romantic and idealized version of a much contested historical event."
In When Caricature is Considered Portraiture from Honolulu Vol. 23, Assistant Curator of the Arts of Hawai‘i at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Healoha Johnson considers how caricatures often depict political events and high-profile figures, and then remain as visual historical records with the potential to circulate misconceptions as truth through what is, in fact, a badly distorted caricature of the actual event or figure.
Here she dissects "Hawaii's Decisive Hour", a painting by Eugene Savage, which could be said skews history by celebrating an annexation treaty between the U.S. and Hawaii that never actually passed.