Japanese American National Museum
Past Exhibitions

Allen Say's Journey: The Art and Words of a Children's Book Author

July 28, 2000 - February 11, 2001

Allen Say’s Journey: The Art and Words of a Children’s Book Author is the first retrospective exhibition of the art of Allen Say, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. His drawings, watercolor paintings, and prose explore themes of longing, belonging, and the meaning of “home.” Through the internal conflicts of his characters and their search for identity and self-discovery, one can glimpse into Say’s own life journey.

Born in Yokohama, Japan, Say began his art training in both Japanese and Western styles before immigrating to the United States as a teenager. Following a successful career in commercial photography, Say returned to his first love: drawing and painting. Over the last two decades, Say has published nineteen books, authoring fourteen of them.

The enduring themes of his stories—combined with his exquisite illustrations—capture Allen Say’s distinctive voice, captivating both children and adults. From boyhood to maturity, this exhibition explores the author’s journey and examines the shifting lines that define culture and identity through the art of storytelling in pictures and words.

The exhibition features 55 elegant watercolor paintings and whimsical yet intricate pen-and-ink drawings.

Read Allen Say’ Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech.

Past Events

Saturday, January 27, 2001
1:30 PM

Children's Concert in Historic Sites

Kids and adults alike are invited to explore the richness of Japanese American history with a special Children's Concerts in Historic Sites event. Sponsored by The Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College and coinciding with the exhibition Allen Say's Journey: The Art and Words of a Children's Book Author, the concert features stories and music from the Japanese American tradition. Storyteller Denise Iketani and the Taiko ensemble Japanese Festival Sounds, led by drummer Johnny Mori, team up for a high-energy, richly visual performance. Kids leave with Japanese American sweets and a special toy!

Concert is recommended for children age 4 and above. Tickets ($18 for adults, $12 for children, $48 for a family package of two adults and two children) also admit you to the Museum on the day of the concert and can be purchased by calling 310.954.4300.



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