92 x 77 1/2 in. (233.7 x 196.9 cm)
Gift of Ellen H. Getman, in memory of her husband, Frederick Hutton Getman, 1945
Not on view
The scenes printed on this quilt depict English Captain James Cook's third voyage to the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. The first three vignettes show the peaceful island lifestyle and Cook's arrival. In the final scene, however, Cook's lifeless body lies amidst rampaging Hawaiians after a conflict with the islanders. A dagger is raised above Cook, a morbid reminder that his body was dismembered and the parts distributed among high-ranking chiefs. Such images were part of the process of constructing, memorializing, and circulating the image of a national hero who personified Britain's aspirations of maritime dominance.