Curator of Textiles, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1975–2002

Textiles have been a passion for Reiko Brandon since childhood. She was drawn to their tactile and flexible qualities that allow unlimited creative possibilities and their utilitarian and functional nature that eloquently reflects life itself. These early experiences and her education fused her life work as a museum curator, historian, and practicing artist.

Her aesthetic vision guided her curatorial projects, while the constant stimulus of being amongst historical works in the museum environment provided inspiration for the creation of her fiber pieces. Brandon established the Textile Department at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, nurtured its collection that has grown to 6,000 pieces of notably rare textiles from East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, and opened it to local and international scholars for study. With her leadership the department organized over 50 public textile exhibitions supported with publications, lectures, and cultural events for the enjoyment and education of the community.

1974 MFA, University of Hawai‘i at Ma¯noa
1961 Fulbright Grantee, East-West Center,
Graduate Program in History, University of Hawai‘i
1958 BA, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan

Exhibitions & Publications
2003 Hawaiian Quilts: Tradition and Transition, Honolulu Academy of Arts, curator and author
1995 Bright and Daring: Japanese Kimonos in the Taisho– Mode, Honolulu Academy of Arts, curator and author
1994 Spirit and Symbol: The Japanese New Year, Honolulu Academy of Arts, co-curator and author
1986 Country Textiles of Japan: Art of Tsutsugaki, Honolulu Academy of Arts, curator and author
2007 Koa Award for lifetime achievement in the visual arts, Koa Gallery, Kapi‘olani Community College, University of Hawai‘i
2006 Excellence in Craft—First Place, Fiber Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Craftsman
1989 Living Treasure of Hawai‘i, Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai’i
1987 Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Hawai‘i at Ma¯noa
1981 Excellence in Costume and Scene Design, American College Theater Festival,
Hoichi: Dark Tales of the Heike, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa