HomeAAPI Heritage MonthDonna Hayashi Smith is new White House Curator, first AsAm in the...

Donna Hayashi Smith is new White House Curator, first AsAm in the post

The White House this week announced the appointment of Donna Hayashi Smith as its new Curator, the first Asian American to hold the post.

Hayashi Smith is originally from Wahiawa, Hawaii, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the announcement said. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the George Washington University, it said.

As White House Curator, she manages the preservation and study of historic art and artifacts at the Executive Mansion, including paintings, sculpture, furniture and dinnerware.

Hayashi Smith first joined the Office of the Curator in 1995, and had most recently been serving as acting Curator since the retirement of her predecessor, the White House said.

“Donna Hayashi Smith brings years of experience to this position, along with unique perspectives from serving under five administrations. She understands the history and legacy of the White House, as well as the intricate innerworkings of the building itself,” First Lady Jill Biden said in the announcement. “I look forward to continuing our work together to preserve the White House’s living history, increasing opportunities for Americans to see themselves reflected here, and making the ‘People’s House’ more accessible to the millions of people who visit our Nation’s Capital each year.”

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