New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei
March 12 - August 20, 2017
New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei explores the life and career of pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon George Takei. By examining Takei’s diverse experiences and achievements, this entertaining and interactive exhibition creates a portrait of a unique individual while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America.
Takei has been an innovator on many fronts. Through a curated selection of his artifacts, New Frontiers captures a long and colorful life while also providing a space to reflect on some of the social and political changes that rippled through America during the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition begins with Takei’s childhood and his incarceration, along with his family, at the Rohwer and Tule Lake concentration camps during World War II. It then moves through his career as one of the first successful Japanese American actors in Hollywood; his public service appointments, including stints on the Southern California Rapid Transit District and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission; his coming out as a gay man and his celebrated marriage to longtime partner Brad Takei (née Altman); his ongoing activism on behalf of the Japanese American and LGBTQ communities; his wild popularity as a social media figure; and much more.
New Frontiers draws on the vast collection of personal artifacts recently donated to the Japanese American National Museum by Takei, who is also a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees. The collection includes photographs, correspondence, scripts, awards, campaign materials from his 1973 Los Angeles City Council bid, and one-of-a-kind artworks made by his legions of fans. Of special note are a sculpture made from a swamp root by Takei’s father while the family was incarcerated during World War II at the Rohwer concentration camp in Arkansas; the walking stick Takei carried on his ascent of Mount Fuji in Japan; the Olympic torch he carried in the lead-up to the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles; and the key to the city of Roanoke, Virginia. Takei traveled to Roanoke in 2015 to meet with its mayor, David Bowers, after Bowers cited the use of Japanese American concentration camps to justify suspending the relocation of Syrian refugees to the city.
New Frontiers is curated by noted author, journalist, and cultural critic Jeff Yang.
Upper Level Members' Reception: New Frontiers
Upper level members are invited to join George Takei and exhibition curator Jeff Yang for an exclusive preview and reception. Invitations will be mailed in January.
Members Only Exhibition Tour: New Frontiers
Join exhibition curator Jeff Yang for an exclusive gallery tour. Yang will be available after the tour to sign copies of a softcover graphic novel produced to accompany the exhibition.
Limited to 25 members; reservations are required. RSVP by April 13 to email@example.com or 213.830.5646.
Members Only Learning at Lunch: The George Takei Collection
In September 2016, actor and activist George Takei gifted JANM with his personal collection, some of which is on display in New Frontiers: The Many World of George Takei. Join JANM collections staff as they explore artifacts that did not make it into the show, offering intimate insights into Takei’s unique life.
Space is limited; RSVP by April 17 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 213.830.5646.