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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Chiura Obata: American Modern Daytime Tour

Free for Smithsonian Associates Members

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1E0214

Dust Storm, Topaz, 1943, by Chiura Obata (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) is among the most significant California-based artists of the 20th century. He was born in Okayama, Japan and immigrated to San Francisco in 1903. By then, he was integrating Western practices into his work, and continued experimenting with new styles and methods throughout his career.

Today he is best known for majestic views of the American West, sketches based on hiking trips to capture what he called “Great Nature.” 

As a professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a founder of the East West Art Society, he facilitated cross-cultural dialogue, despite widespread prejudice against Asian Americans. When more than one hundred thousand West Coast Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II, he created arts schools in the camps that helped fellow prisoners cope with their displacement.

This retrospective includes more than 150 paintings and personal effects, many on public display for the first time. The works on view take us through an epic journey of peaks, valleys and storms that reflect the universal struggles and dreams of America’s minority and immigrant populations.

General Information

  • Meet your Smithsonian Associates Rep by the Information Desk, inside the G Street entrance, no later than listed start time.
  • While there is metered street parking and several parking lots and garages near the museum, space is limited, your best bet is using METRO.                                                                                     

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th & G Sts NW
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown