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ART & ARTIFACTS. A new pop-up display ó "Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection" ó is opening in Portland next month. The exhibit, which will be on view at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center for four days, features physical or digital representations of more than 400 photographs, sculptures, paintings, watercolors, jewelry, vases, beads, nameplates, and other items handmade by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in World War II internment camps. Pictured is a chair constructed by Yorozu Homma while incarcerated at Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. (Photo courtesy of the Japanese American National Museum, Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection, 2015.100.57)
CONTESTED HISTORIES. "Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection," an exhibit on view November 1 to 4, 2018, highlights handmade objects created by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in World War II internment camps. Pictured is an ink-on-paper sumi-e piece made by an unknown artist. (Photo courtesy of the Japanese American National Museum, Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection, 2015.100.40)
From The Asian Reporter, V28, #20 (October 15, 2018), pages 8 & 15.
"Contested Histories" pop-up display to be featured at ONLC in Portland
A new pop-up display ó "Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection" ó is opening at Portlandís Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center (ONLC) next month and will be on view for four days. The travelling exhibit features physical or digital representations of every item in the collection, which includes more than 400 photographs, sculptures, paintings, watercolors, jewelry, vases, beads, nameplates, and other items handmade by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in World War II internment camps.
The exhibit opens Thursday, November 1 with extended hours ó 11:00am to 7:00pm. On Friday and Saturday, hours are 11:00am to 3:00pm. On the last day, Sunday, November 4, the museum is open noon to 3:00pm. The event also includes two workshops, which are scheduled Thursday at 5:00pm and Sunday at noon.
Roots of the "Contested Histories" pop-up display are found in Allen Hendershott Eatonís historic 1952 book, Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps, which explored art and craft objects created by persons of Japanese descent who were wrongfully incarcerated in the World War II American concentration camps. The book was one of the first to examine any aspect of the lives of the more than 120,000 inmates. In the course of conducting his research for the book and a never-realized exhibit of camp artifacts, Eaton amassed a significant personal collection of artifacts.
After many years of lying forgotten in storage, the collection was inherited by a family friend of Mr. Eaton, who in April 2015 attempted to put it up for auction. Japanese-American community leaders and activists rallied successfully to stop the insensitive sale of the important artifacts of Japanese-American history.
Ultimately, the collection was transferred to the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles for safekeeping.
In addition to providing an opportunity to see a collection that inspired strong emotions and decisive actions within the Japanese-American community, "Contested Histories" also is intended to help gather information about each individual object so the museumís efforts to preserve and catalog the collection is as complete as possible.
Camp survivors and their family members and friends are encouraged to share with JANM any information they have or remember about the objects, including who is depicted in the many photographs, most of which were shot by photographers working for the War Relocation Authority.
"Contested Histories" officially opened this year from January to April at JANM. The pop-up version is now travelling to locations in the United States for viewing and information gathering. Anyone who is unable to view the exhibit while it is in Portland will have a second chance on November 24 and 25 from 10:00am to 5:00pm, when it is featured at the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) Foundation. NVC Hall is located at 1212 S. King Street in Seattle, Washington. For more information, call (206) 322-1122 or visit <www.nvcfoundation.org>.
The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center is located at 121 N.W. Second Avenue in Portland. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. Admission is free for everyone on Thursday, November 1, the first day of the exhibit. To learn more, call (503) 224-1458 or visit <www.oregonnikkei.org>.
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