Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

Finding Family Stories
March 14 - July 6, 2003

In March 2003, the sixth year of finding family stories culminates with an exhibition at four partner institutions of the works of eight artists chosen by representatives from these institutions: the Japanese American National Museum (the organizing institution), the California African American Museum, the Chinese American Museum and Self-Help Graphics & Art, Inc.

finding family stories brings together living artists, ethnic-specific institutions, and the diverse community of southern California. Family stories are the loose thematic link for the project, but the institutions are not only free, but encouraged to think broadly about what and who family is defined and by whom.

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.

C.O.L.A. 2002
May 3 - June 30, 2002

Hideo Date Cathleen, ca. 1930s. Oil on canvas, 10 x 8 inches (99.111.150)

Living in Color: The Art of Hideo Date
October 27, 2001 - April 7, 2002

This exhibition of paintings is the first retrospective survey of the art of Issei painter Hideo Date (b. 1907).

Trained in Tokyo and Los Angeles, Date was an influential member of avant-garde art circles in pre-World War II Los Angeles. He belonged to the Los Angeles Art Students League and founded the self-named “Los Angeles Oriental Artists Group.” The outbreak of war took Date from the dynamic and diverse Los Angeles art scene to the isolation of Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming. After the war, Date resettled in New York where he still resides at age 94. This exhibition and catalogue feature paintings from the National Museum’s extensive collection of Date’s work, many of which have not been seen in over fifty years.

Flo Oy Wong, made in usa: Angel Island Shhh, 2000.

Flo Oy Wong: Angel Island, Immigration, and Family Stories
September 27, 2001 - March 31, 2002

Artist Flo Oy Wong is known for her provocative explorations of family and community history through her work. The exhibition includes Wong’s most recent installation, made in usa: Angel Island Shhh, that exposes the conditions and experiences of Chinese immigrants incarcerated at Angel Island Immigration Station between 1910 and 1940.

Mei-Ling Hom Silkworm Grind, 2000.

Beliz Brother, Mei-ling Hom, and Kim Yasuda: Celebrating U.S. - Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship Program
May 11 - September 2, 2001

This exhibition features new work by three recent recipients of the prestigious artists exchange fellowship program jointly administered by the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Since 1979, over 100 American artists have received fellowships to live and work in Japan. The sculptural and installation art on view by Brother, Hom, and Yasuda explores the subtle and provocative ways that their residencies in Japan impacted their art.

ON THE ROAD at the National Museum of Ethnology—From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawai'i
April 19 - August 28, 2001


National Museum of Ethnology
Osaka, Japan

Following its successful international debut in Okinawa, From Bento to Mixed Plate will continue its travel throughout Japan with its opening at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. This exhibition has been re-designed for the Japanese speaking visitor to share the historical and personal stories of Hawai‘i’s AJA (Americans of Japanese ancestry) communities through photographs, artifacts, text, and video. It also serves as a window through which visitors can observe the general transformation of Hawai’i from an ethnically stratified society to its multicultural present.

Henry Sugimoto Self Portrait in Camp, 1943.

Henry Sugimoto: Painting an American Experience
March 24 - October 7, 2001

At the age of 19, Henry Sugimoto left Japan to make his life in America. Determined to become an artist, he studied in the San Francisco Bay Area and exhibited nationally and internationally.When he was unjustly incarcerated at 42 in the Jerome and Rohwer concentration camps in Arkansas, the experience irreversibly affected how he viewed himself, his art, and the Japanese American experience. The only thing that remained constant was his desire to paint.

This retrospective survey features works from the National Museum’s extensive collection of Sugimoto’s paintings, prints, drawings, and writing, and spans the entirety of his prolific career as an artist. Henry Sugimoto: Painting an American Experience tells the compelling story of an immigrant, a Japanese American, and an artist.



Jump to Top of Page Japanese American National Museum home
Copyright © 1998-2018 Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles California 90012   ▪   phone: (213) 625-0414