Media Advisory Press Preview for Major Retrospective of Japanese American Artist Chiura Obata

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Katie Hondorf
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Press preview for the exhibition “Chiura Obata: American Modern

Thursday, Nov. 21
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
: 11 a.m.
Remarks and tour: 11:30 a.m.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Enter at Eighth and F streets N.W.

Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Crawford Alexander Mann III, curator of prints and drawings

Chiura Obata (1885–1975) ranks among the most significant California-based artists and Japanese American cultural leaders of the past century. The Smithsonian American Art Museum will present “Chiura Obata: American Modern,” a major traveling retrospective. The museum is the final stop of a five-museum tour and the only venue east of the Rocky Mountains. The exhibition presents more than 150 paintings and personal effects, many on public display for the first time. They come primarily from private collections, supplemented by a selection of superb woodblock prints from the museum’s collection.

The exhibition encompasses Obata’s seven-decade career, from early works when he was an artist-reporter in San Francisco to his time during World War II in incarceration camps to his majestic views of the American West.

“Chiura Obata: American Modern” will be open to the public Nov. 27 through May 25, 2020.

Information about the exhibition is available in an online press kit at

Interested media should RSVP to Photographers and film crews are welcome; contact the office in advance to make arrangements. Requests for one-on-one interviews may be made in advance with Katie Hondorf by email at

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About the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the flagship museum of American art and craft. It is home to one of the most significant and inclusive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s main building, located at 8th and G Streets N.W., is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The museum’s Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Check online for current hours and admission information. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

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