Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

George Nakashima: Nature, Form and Spirit
September 1, 2004 - January 2, 2005

The exhibition George Nakashima: Nature, Form and Spirit outlines the historical, artistic and spiritual influences that ultimately manifested themselves in Nakashima's exquisite furniture.

American flag recovered amid World Trade Center debris at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

September 11: Bearing Witness to History
July 1 - August 15, 2004

The Japanese American National Museum is honored to be the only California venue to present the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibition, September 11: Bearing Witness to History, from July 1 to August 15, 2004.

Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics
February 7 - May 30, 2004

Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics is the first major American exhibition of Noguchi’s postwar work in ceramics.

The exhibition includes approximately 75 clay sculptures presented as a chronological account of Noguchi’s evolution as a sculptor along with the works of Japanese modern ceramicists. Noguchi’s explorations into a wide range of themes, from the abstract to the material, display his fearlessness to cross many boundaries. Noguchi created much of his ceramic work within three brief but intense periods in which he was inspired by his return to Japan and his family, the war in Japan and the aftermath, and the rise of the Sodeisha group. The over-arching theme that encapsulates the exhibition involves Noguchi’s exploration of his Japanese American identity through clay.

Drifting: Nakahama Manjiro's Tale of Discovery. An Illustrated Manuscript Recounting Ten Years of Adventure at
October 11, 2003 - January 4, 2004

Drifting: Nakahama Manjiro's Tale of Discovery chronicles the adventures of Manjiro, a Japanese boy who in 1841 was shipwrecked with four companions off the coast of Japan and unwittingly played a significant role in cultural understanding between the United States and Japan.

Object Lessons: Exploring the Permanent Collection
August 2, 2003 - January 4, 2004

With over 47,000 artifacts donated by more than 5,000 individuals, families, and organizations, the National Museum has the largest collection of Japanese American materials in the world. This exhibition showcases a range of compelling objects from the permanent collection, some of which have never been displayed before.

Sights Unseen: The Photographic Constructions of Masumi Hayashi
May 31 - September 14, 2003

The Japanese American National Museum is proud to present the first survey of the work by Japanese American photographer Masumi Hayashi.

Finding Family Stories
March 14 - July 6, 2003

This is the third year of Finding Family Stories, an Arts Partnership Project initiated by the Japanese American National Museum in 1995 to create a dialogue among the diverse communities that shape the state of California.

Crafting History: Arts and Crafts from America's Concentration Camps
November 16, 2002 - May 4, 2003

Craft objects made by Japanese Americans comprise one of the most significant categories of artifacts from the World War II concentration camps. This exhibition examines arts and crafts as an important outlet for Japanese Americans during World War II, and explores what these items mean today as we reflect on the legacy of the incarceration.

Yolanda Guerra.

Boyle Heights: The Power of Place
September 8, 2002 - February 23, 2003

A neighborhood is made up of people and places. It is defined through the experiences of those who consider it home. Through the stories of past and present neighborhood residents, this exhibition explores how the experiences and memories of many generations of Angelenos intersect in this powerful place.

Miss Kagawa, collection of the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and Helen, collection of the Takasago Yochien

Passports to Friendship: Celebrating 75 Years of U.S.-Japan Friendship Doll Exchange
July 27 - October 13, 2002

In 1927, millions of American and Japanese children participated in an exchange program aimed at promoting peace, goodwill and understanding between their two nations. American children sent 12,739 dolls to coincide with the traditional Japanese Girl's Day festival known as Hina Matsuri. Later that year, Japanese children reciprocated by sending 58 dolls to the U.S. in time for Christmas celebrations.

Each doll carried with it a passport and the good wishes of the children. This exhibition traced the historical and political context of the 1927 doll exchange, relates what happened to the dolls in the intervening years and revives the original mission to educate children how to respect and value diverse cultures and experiences.



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