Programs are free for Members and included with admission for visitors, unless otherwise noted.

To see a complete listing of the Museum’s programs, visit



Saturday, February 27, 2016
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Members' Preview Day and Reception: Making Waves and Two Views


The museum’s two new temporary exhibitions—Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940 and Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank—will be open only to JANM members, who are invited to have an exclusive first look before they open to the public on February 28.

Remarks by Making Waves curator Dennis Reed at 2 p.m. followed by a book signing. Light dessert reception from 3 p.m.

RSVP by February 19 to or 213.625.0414, ext. 2222.

Photo: Asahachi Kono, Pond Fantasy, c. 1930. Collection of the Kono family.

Saturday, March 5, 2016
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Making Waves


Join independent historian and curator David F. Martin for an exclusive gallery tour entitled “Surviving Art History: Artistic Reputation and the Seattle Camera Club.”

Martin will discuss the idea of artistic reputation as it applies to the Seattle Camera Club in the early part of the 20th century. Many of the photographers involved in the club had significant international success during their lifetimes but their work languished in obscurity for decades after their deaths because of racial, gender, and institutional bias.

Limited to 25 members. RSVP to or 213.830.5646.

Photo: F.A. Kunishige, 7:15 a.m., c. 1921. Collection of David Martin and Dominic Zambito.

Saturday, March 5, 2016
2:00 PM

Rediscovering Japanese American Photography


In conjunction with Making Waves, historian and exhibition curator Dennis Reed will introduce and lead a panel discussion on the recovery of Japanese American photographs.

Panelists will include David F. Martin, author and curator; Robert Hori, Cultural Curator, Huntington Library; and Stephen White, writer and dealer, all of whom have played a role in saving once-lost works by Japanese American photographers. Each is also a lender to Making Waves.

Discussion will include the back stories of works in the exhibition, from items found in dumpsters to those held in family archives, and conclude with an audience Q&A.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Photo: Taizo Kato, Untitled (Woman with Fan), before 1924. Stephen White Collection II.

Friday, March 11, 2016
12:15 PM—1:15 PM

Members Only Learning at Lunch: Japanese American Photographers


In this special edition of Learning at Lunch, bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy an intimate hour with Frank Sata, son of J.T. Sata, a featured artist in our current exhibition, Making Waves. Frank will present and discuss photographs from JANM’s collection that are not on display in the exhibition.

RSVPs recommended to or 213.830.5646.

Photo: J.T. Sata, Untitled (Man Walking Out of Tunnel), c. 1930. Partial and promised gift of Frank and Marian Sata and family, Japanese American National Museum.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Making Waves


Join exhibition curator Dennis Reed for an exclusive gallery tour entitled “Tender Views, Modern Expressions.”

Reed will provide an overview of Making Waves while focusing on the photographers who worked in Los Angeles, several of whom he knew personally. He will discuss the character of their work, which ranged from gentle scenes of lily pads to progressively modern abstractions, and their wide influence. Reed will also touch on photographs not included in the exhibition.

Limited to 25 members. RSVP to or 213.830.5646.

Photo: Hiromu Kira, The Thinker, c. 1930. Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of The Annenberg Foundation and Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin.

Saturday, April 16, 2016
10:30 AM

Members Only Exhibition Tour: Making Waves


Join Robert Hori, Cultural Curator at the Huntington Library, for an exclusive gallery tour entitled “Japanese Cultural Traditions as Expressed in Japanese American Photography.” By combining references from their artistic heritage with everyday elements, Japanese American photographers created visual haiku—seemingly simple but complex compositions.

Limited to 25 members. RSVP to or 213.830.5646.

Photo: F.Y. Sato, Shadow from Garden, c. 1930. Private collection.

Saturday, April 16, 2016
2:00 PM

Recollections of Family History


In this panel discussion moderated by exhibition curator Dennis Reed, family members of photographers featured in Making Waves will discuss the artists’ lives and activities.

The discussion will move through three time periods—the 1920s and ’30s, the World War II incarceration, and the postwar period—and include time for audience Q&A. Confirmed participants include representatives from the families of Harry Hayashida, Toyo Miyatake, J.T. Sata, and Shigemi Uyeda.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Photo: Toyo Miyatake, Charles Teske, 1927. The Toyo Miyatake Collection.

Saturday, May 7, 2016
2:00 PM

Dramatic Reading—Moss on the Mirror by Warren Sata


Moss on the Mirror is a fictional story inspired by the life and work of renowned photographer Toyo Miyatake. Taking place in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district in the late 1920s and early 1930s, where Miyatake’s practice flourished before World War II, the play examines the creativity, hope, and optimism, as well as the struggles and challenges, of the Japanese immigrant photographers community. Although not a literal retelling of actual events, the piece seeks to transport audiences to the feelings and circumstances of those times.

Moss on the Mirror was written by Warren Sata, a relative of J.T. Sata, who is a featured photographer in the exhibition Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940.

Free with museum admission. RSVPs are recommended using the link below.

Photo: Toyo Miyatake, Charles Teske, 1927. The Toyo Miyatake Collection.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: Fantastic Photography



Strike a pose, take a selfie, or snap a shot! This day is all about photography.



  • In a special activity inspired by the photographers of Making Waves, make a photogram using light-sensitive paper.

  • Visit Nerdbot’s retro photo booth and pose for a short series of impromptu shots with your family and friends.

  • Complete your collection of travel photography by snapping your selfies at our stations designed to represent locales around the world.

  • Get a novelty balloon that’s shaped like a camera! One per child, while supplies last. Line ends at 3:30 p.m. or when supplies run out.

  • Fold your own origami camera at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

  • Decorate a picture frame and take it home to hold a favorite photo.


    11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Making Waves Photo Contest
    With the images in Making Waves as inspiration, create your own abstract photos using materials that we will have available at the end of the exhibition. Visit our printing station to take home a copy of your best composition and enter it in our contest to win a special prize at the end of the day. Prize courtesy of Bandai.

    12 p.m. and 2 p.m.: Photography 101
    Bring your favorite picture-taking device (camera, phone, tablet) and learn the basics of photo composition from JANM’s knowledgeable volunteer photographers. Children only, maximum 10 kids per session, must be accompanied by an adult.

    Sponsored by 


    NOTE: In addition to street closures in the area, there is a large event in Little Tokyo on the evening of May 14 which may impact parking availability throughout the day. We encourage visitors to the JANM Free Family Day to consider public transportation and/or allow additional time to locate parking.


    Saturday, May 14, 2016
    2:00 PM

    Film Screening—Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray



    A screening of the award-winning film by JANM’s own Watase Media Arts Center about renowned photographer Toyo Miyatake. Miyatake’s thriving practice as a Little Tokyo–based portrait and art photographer was put on pause when he was incarcerated during World War II. However, smuggling a lens and film holder into camp, Miyatake made history by becoming one of the first to photograph the Japanese American concentration camp experience from the inside. Introduced by Making Waves curator Dennis Reed.

    This film is available at the JANM Store.

    Read an interview with filmmakers Karen Ishizuka and Robert Nakamura about the film and Toyo Miyatake on Discover Nikkei.


    Midori Shimoda, Carnival of Onions, early 1930s, gelatin silver print. Private collection.


    JANM Email Updates



    Making Waves – FIRST & CENTRAL: The JANM Blog

    Warren Sata Pays Tribute to Japanese American Photographers with Moss on the Mirror
    May 5, 2016 This Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m., JANM will ...
    Photographer’s Son Featured in “Learning at Lunch”
    March 16, 2016   One of my favorite Members Only events here at JANM ...
    JANM Opens Two New Photography Exhibitions
    March 9, 2016   On the weekend of February 27–28, JANM opened two ...

    more »

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    Top: Harry Hayashida, Streamline, c. 1935, gelatin silver print. Collection of the Japanese American National Museum.