11/21/2014
 
“The Art of Gaman” Showcases Incredible Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps from World War II
 
HOUSTON, TX (Nov. 21, 2014) – In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans in the United States, including men, women, children, the elderly and the infirm, for the duration of World War II.
 'The Art of Gaman'
Reprinted from "The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946" (Ten Speed Press, c. 2005), by Delphine Hirasuna with design by Kit Hinrichs and photography by Terry Heffernan.


The evacuation affected the entire Japanese American population on the U.S. West Coast. Allowed only what they could carry, they were given just a few days to settle their affairs and report to assembly centers. Businesses were lost, personal property was stolen or vandalized and lives were shattered. Imprisoned in remote camps surrounded  by barbed wire and guarded by soldiers with machine guns, the internees sought solace in art.

Their artistic creations – a celebration of the nobility of the human spirit in adversity – are the focus of a new exhibit, “The Art of Gaman,” opening Jan. 30, 2015, and on view through Sept. 20, 2015, at Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. in Houston’s Museum District.  HMH members are invited to a free preview reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. To renew a membership or to join and attend, visit www.hmh.org, e-mail membership@hmh.org or call 713-527-1640.

Following the preview, there will be a private reception with special guests for Art Circle members. Art Circle at Holocaust Museum Houston is a group created to connect HMH members and the Houston community with artists and collectors engaged in social, political and/or human rights issues. Funds raised by Art Circle membership supports the art exhibition program at the Museum. To join Art Circle and attend the reception following this event, please contact Marci Dallas at mdallas@hmh.org.

“The Art of Gaman” showcases more than 120 artifacts made by Japanese Americans while incarcerated in camps during World War II. It explores the creativity and ingenuity of these internees, as well as the Japanese concept of gaman, "to endure the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity."

Struggling to form communities within the camps, the internees fashioned furniture from scrap lumber, wove baskets from unravelled twine and made corsages from shells dug up from an ancient seabed.

Works on display range from tools, decorative objects, woodcarvings, paintings, furniture, toys and more and are presented with historical context through photographs, documents and films. Most of the objects on view are on loan from former internees or their families. A dark, yet important chapter in American history, “The Art of Gaman” is a moving display of perseverance, resourcefulness, and the power of the human spirit.

“The Art of Gaman” is organized by curator Delphine Hirasuna, with advisory support Smithsonian American Art and the  Japanese American Citizens League.

“The Art of Gaman" is presented locally with special thanks to Bank of Texas, Art Circle at Holocaust Museum Houston, Donna Cole, Next Door Painting, Valspar Corporation, Houston Pecan Company, Three Brothers Bakery and United Airlines, the official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston. KPRC Local 2 is serving as media sponsor for the exhibition.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.
 
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