Handmade Shell Brooch


This beautiful shell brooch or boutonniere was made by Mr. and Mrs. Takahashi. Many Japanese Americans turned to art to express their creativity and frustrations during their imprisonment. Many art classes of various kinds started popping up all around the concentration camps, providing an outlet for Japanese Americans to make beautiful things. While there was opportunity to create artwork, there was a large lack of material supplies. Prisoners would scavenge and try to find whatever they could to use for their art. Since many camps were built around dried up lake beds, many Japanese Americans found and used seashells, like the ones used in this brooch. These shells are painted red to look like bunches of berries, and captures a remarkable beauty even though it is using leftover, scavenged materials.

Date Made: 1942-1945

Location: Currently not on viewCurrently not on view (leaf fragment)

Associated Place: United States: Montana, Missoula

Web Subject: World War II


See more items in: Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Roger Shimomura

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2016.0162.17Accession Number: 2016.0162Catalog Number: 2016.0162.17

Object Name: Broochbroochberry brooch

Physical Description: wire (overall material)fabric (overall material)thread (overall material)synthetic fibers (overall material)shell (overall material)red (overall color)green (overall color)yellow (overall color)paint (overall material)Measurements: overall: 5 in x 3 in x 1 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 7.62 cm x 3.81 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b2-4ea5-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1808411

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