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Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata with children at Tanforan.  Gift of the Obata Family, Japanese American National Museum (94.88.1)
Chiura Obata with children at Tanforan.
Gift of the Obata Family, Japanese American National Museum (94.88.1)

Sumi-e painter & printmaker (1885-1975)

Chiura Obata (1885-1975) was born in Japan to a family of artists and decorators. He began his formal training in art at the age of seven and apprenticed with painters of the Shinjo, Tosa, and Kano Schools. By the turn of the century, Obata became involved with the nihonga movement, a new approach to painting which incorporated aspects of Western technique with traditional Japanese aesthetics. Obata immigrated to San Francisco in 1903, where he was active in the vital arts scene through the 1930s. In 1921, along with other Japanese American artists, he founded the East West Art Society. In 1932, he was appointed a professor at UC Berkeley where he taught until 1954, with the exception of his World War II incarceration years.


Profiles Chiura and Haruko Obata and their long relationship with landscape architect Geraldine Knight Scott.

Exhibitions

Review: Rick Deragon, "Chiura Obata exhibit shows fusion of Japanese aesthetic with California scenery." Monterey County Weekly, June 10, 2004.

Works

Untitled, c.1940.
Untitled, c.1940.
Untitled (cherry blossoms and lake). (1943)
Untitled (cherry blossoms and lake). (1943)
Untitled.
Untitled.
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