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John M. Olin Library, Level 1, Kagan Grand Stair

Chiura Obata, an Artist Behind Barbed Wire: 80 Years After the Incarceration

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) was a Japanese American painter known primarily for illustrating the West Coast landscape in works that embody his artistic philosophy of Great Nature.

The full Chiura Obata painting exhibitions in the display case outside of the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections.

With a professional background as an art instructor at the University of California-Berkeley, Obata continued to teach art to the incarcerated Japanese American community between 1942 and 1943. Although limited in numbers, Washington University Libraries holds some quintessential artworks by Obata from the period of his incarceration. This exhibition showcases these works and explains the history of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The title and descriptive cards for the Chiura Obata exhibition on display outside of the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections. The title card reads "Chiura Obata, an Artist Behind Barbed Wire: 80 Years After the Incarceration."
The second half of the display case for the Chiura Obata, an Artist Behind Barbed Wire exhibition. Four paintings are shown here alongside a black and white photo and two informational plaques.

This exhibition was organized by Japanese Studies Librarian Mitsutaka Nakamura for Washington University Libraries.