David Wilton Steadman, a Punahou School graduate and member of the pioneering Big Five Cooke family who went on to a prominent career in art museums, died recently at the age of 80.
Steadman was born in Honolulu in 1936 to Martha Cooke Steadman and Alva Steadman, who would become a Circuit Court judge in the territory of Hawaii. After graduating from Punahou, he left Hawaii in 1954 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
He would go on to obtain master’s degrees in education, art history and theological studies from three different institutions, and earn a doctoral degree in art history from Princeton University.
Over his career, Steadman led the Princeton University Art Museum, the Galleries of the Claremont Colleges in California, the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., and the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio.
He was also a research curator for the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.
In addition, Steadman served as speaker, lecturer and trustee for various organizations, including the Art Museum Association of America, the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Philips Collection in Washington, D.C., Architectural Digest and the Norton Simon Museum.
In 2004 he was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church and served at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Sebastopol, Calif., until his retirement in 2010.
A memorial for Steadman will be held at St. Stephen’s at 10:30 a.m. May 13. The family asks that donations go to St. Stephen’s in Steadman’s name.