During his tenure as the RISD Museum's 2017 Artist Fellow, Walker Mettling became interested in a mysterious textile identified in museum records as a pillow cover. Through extensive research, Mettling unearthed the work's likely origin as a souvenir of the 1904 World's Fair and its complex history as a celebration of U.S. colonization of the Philippines and the exoticization of Bontoc Igorot people.
One particularly moving moment in the research process was the discovery of this speech delivered by Antero Cabrera’s granddaughter, Mia Antero Apolinar Abeya, to students at a middle school that sits where the St. Louis World’s Fair was once held.
Speech Delivered at
Wydown Middle School, 2000