Chiura Obata: An American Modern

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

UCLA Library Curators' Conversations

Join ShiPu Wang, curator of Chiura Obata: An American Modern, for a revealing talk about the artist's life stories and love for California's "Great Nature," and Wang's eight-year effort to organize this exhibition. It is on view at UC Santa Barbara's Art, Design, and Architecture Museum through April 29, 2018, then travels to Utah; Japan; and Sacramento before its final stop at the Smithsonia American Art Museum in Washington, DC, in November 2019.

One of the most significant Japanese American artists of the twentieth century, Obata (1885-1975) was born in Japan, emigrated to the US in 1903, and embarked on a career during a period of anti-immigration laws and mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. He emerged as a leading figure in the Northern California art community, serving as an influential art professor at UC Berkeley for nearly twenty years and as a founding director of art schools in the Tanforan and Topaz internment camps.

Wang earned his PhD in art history at UC Santa Barbara and is on the founding faculty of UC Merced's Global Arts Studies Program and the founding director and curator of the UCM Art Gallery. He specializes in twentieth century American art history and visual culture in an international context, with a focus on historical discourses on race and nationalism in pre-World War II american art.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. RSVP to

Image above: Glorious Struggle, 1965, sumi on silk, UCLA Library Special Collections