Asian American Studies Spring Lecture Series

"You Have That in Your Closet? Adventures in Rediscovering and Re-presenting Exclusion-era Asian American Art" led by Dr. ShiPu Wang, the Coats Endowed Chair in the Arts and Professor of Art History & Visual Culture, University of California Merced


Can you name more than one American artist of Asian descent active in the U.S. before WWII? Why do we know so little about these diasporic artists who indeed built illustrious careers during the Exclusion Era (1882–1965), when anti-Asian immigration laws and sentiments predominated?


Join Prof. ShiPu Wang for a fascinating talk about his twenty-year adventures in finding artworks by pre-WWII Asian American artists that have lived in obscurity for decades, some literally in people’s closets and garage. Through writing, lecturing, and curating, Prof. Wang calls attention to the heterogenous creativity, vital contributions, and trailblazing resilience of these less-known and understudied artists. His efforts in turn propose more expanded and inclusive ways of telling stories about communities of Asian descent in the early 20th-century U.S.


Dr. ShiPu Wang, Coats Endowed Chair in the Arts and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Merced, currently serves as a member of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s Board of Commissioners. He has authored three books, including: The Other American Moderns. Matsura, Ishigaki, Noda, Hayakawa that won the 2018 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Book Prize; and Chiura Obata: An American Modern, an exhibition catalogue accompanying the artist’s retrospective that Dr. Wang curated and toured to five museums in the U.S. and Japan, with a final stop at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2019. His forthcoming 4th book, Pictures of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi, and Miné Okubo, is a catalogue for the exhibition of the same name that he is curating and touring to five museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, the organizing institution.


Zoom Registration Link:

Tuesday, April 18 at 5:00 PM to 6:15 PM

Holmes Student Center, Sky Room
600 Lucinda Ave, DeKalb, IL 60115

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