Virtual Talk on ‘Contested Histories’

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Experience more of the “behind the scenes” of traveling the “Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection” special display from Japanese American National Museum program developer and curator Clement Hanami in a virtual presentation and Q&A on Saturday, May 23, at 2 p.m. PDT.

He will be joined by Nancy Ukai, project director of 50 Objects/Stories of the American Japanese Incarceration and a writer and researcher who helped lead the social media protest to stop the Rago auction of the Eaton Collection artifacts in 2015. She is co-administrator of the Facebook page “Japanese American History: NOT for Sale.”

Allen Hendershott Eaton’s historic 1952 book “Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps” explored art and craft objects created by persons of Japanese descent while wrongfully incarcerated in the World War II American concentration camps. After many years of lying forgotten in storage, the collection was inherited by a family friend of Eaton’s, who in April 2015 attempted to put it up for auction. An outcry arose from Japanese American community leaders and activists, who rallied successfully to stop the insensitive sale of these important artifacts of Japanese American history. Ultimately, the collection was transferred to JANM for safekeeping.

Now a traveling display, both physically and digitally, “Contested Histories” is intended to help gather information about each individual object so that the museum’s efforts to preserve and catalog the collection can be as complete as possible.

This public program is free and open to all. Go to JANM’s YouTube channel to watch it live on http://youtube.com/janmdotorg.

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