Artist Teacher Organizer: Yasuo Kuniyoshi in the Archives of American Art

March 30, 2015–July 10, 2015

In 1906, when Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1889–1952) was just 16, he emigrated by himself from Japan to the United States with two hundred dollars in his pocket. Kuniyoshi eventually made his way to New York City and the center of the art world. When he died in 1953, he was considered one of the most brilliant painters of his era.

His personal papers, in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, reveal the many facets of Kuniyoshi. He was a passionate and principled painter, printmaker, and photographer; an immigrant excluded from citizenship and classified an “enemy alien” during World War II; and an influential teacher and an able organizer of artists’ causes. He was also a keen observer of everyday life and endeared himself to a wide circle of friends and colleagues.

Included in this exhibition are letters, photographs, writings, and rare printed materials documenting Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s life and work. This exhibition is organized in conjunction with “The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi” exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.