- A black and white sumi-e painting of a tree, likely done by one of Chiura Obata's students in a Japanese American prison camp during WWII. The image is of a single bare tree with several branches but no foliage and some plants on the ground line.
- Born Zoroku Obata in Okayama-ken, Japan in 1885, Obata moved to California in 1903 and was one of the earliest Japanese artists to live and work in the United States. Obata was the first artist of Japanese descent to be a faculty member at UC Berkeley, where he started teaching in 1932. In 1942 he and his family were removed from Berkeley and imprisoned at the Tanforan temporary detention center and Topaz Japanese American incarceration camp under Executive Order 9066. At Tanforan, Obata started an art school with George Matsusaburo Hibi which he continued upon transfer to Topaz, teaching hundreds of students and creating a large body of artwork depicting everyday life in the camps and surrounding landscapes. Obata became a naturalized citizen in 1954, a year after retiring as Professor Emeritus from UC Berkeley. He spent the rest of his life traveling widely, lecturing and demonstrating Japanese brush painting. Obata is most well-known for his signature style of painting which blends Japanese and Western techniques and his large-scale landscapes. He also created an award-winning series of color woodblock prints at the Takamizawa Print Works in Japan inspired by his 1927 trip to Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada. Chiura Obata died on October 6, 1975 at age 89.
- Currently not on view
- Object Name
- Physical Description
- paper (overall material)
- ink (overall material)
- painted (overall production method/technique)
- overall: 18 1/4 in x 12 in; 46.355 cm x 30.48 cm
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Credit Line
- Gift of Koho Yamamoto
- See more items in
- Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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