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Catalog Data

Creator:
Nanao, Kenjilo, 1929-2013  Search this
Names:
Nanao, Gail Chadell  Search this
Extent:
10.9 Linear feet
0.706 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Date:
circa 1885-2017
bulk 1970-2000
Summary:
The papers of California-based painter and educator Kenjilo Nanao measure 10.9 linear feet and date from circa 1885-1887 and circa 1949-2017, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1970 to 2000. The papers document Nanao's career through biographical material; correspondence with friends, family, artists, universities, and museums; journals; professional files such as teaching files, gallery records and financial records; printed materials, photographs, sketchbooks and drawings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of California-based painter and educator Kenjilo Nanao measure 10.9 linear feet and date from circa 1885-1887 and circa 1949-2017, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1970 to 2000. The papers document Nanao's career through biographical material; correspondence with friends, family, artists, universities, and museums; journals; professional files such as teaching files, gallery records and financial records; printed materials, photographs, sketchbooks and drawings. Biographical material includes address books, forms of international identification, travel documents, and interviews in the form of written typescripts and digital audio recordings. Correspondence is between Kenjilo Nanao and friends, family, and other artists in both English and Japanese. Notable correspondents include John and Kati Casida, William Hyland, Fumiyo and Jun Kaneko, son Max Nanao, Nathan Oliveira, Mel Ramos, and others. There are also several journals of letter drafts by Kenjilo Nanao. This series also includes letters addressed to Nanao's wife Gail from various individuals. There are numerous journals which contain entries on daily activities, but also include Kenjilo Nanao's thoughts on art, to-do lists, and some sketches in watercolor and charcoal. Later journals are titled and dedicated to specific travels abroad. Professional files include appointment books, teaching files from California State University at Hayward, studio documents, assorted ledgers, and lithography course materials. Printed material includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, clippings, magazines, posters, books written in Japanese, and other miscellaneous materials. Photographs depict Nanao's family and friends, with a few images of artwork and exhibitions, and one small album of photographs of a house and neighborhood in Japan. The artwork series mostly consists of sketchbooks, as well as some loose drawings and watercolors.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 7 series: Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1960-circa 2017 (0.4 Linear Feet, 0.706 GB; Box 1, ER01) Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1961-2013 (4.6 Linear Feet; Boxes 1-5, 12, OV 13) Series 3: Journals, circa 1947-2013 (3.8 Linear Feet; Boxes 5-9, 12) Series 4: Professional Files, circa 1967-2011 (0.8 Linear Feet; Boxes 9-10, OV 14) Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1885-1887, circa 1968-2013 (0.6 Linear Feet; Box 10, OV 14) Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1960-2011 (0.1 Linear Feet; Box 10) Series 7: Artwork, circa 1964-2013 (0.6 Linear Feet; Boxes 10-12)
Biographical / Historical:
Kenjilo Nanao (1929-2013) was a painter and printmaker in San Francisco, California. Nanao was born in Aomori, Japan, and graduated with a degree in economics in 1953 from Nihon University before immigrating to the United States to study art in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a bachelor's degree from the California School of Fine Arts in 1963 as well as a masters of fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1971, where he studied under Nathan Oliveira and met his wife and fellow artist, Gail Chadell Nanao. Kenjilo's primary artistic medium was lithography in which he became known for Surrealist minimal figurative compositions. Eventually he immersed himself in painting in an Abstract Expressionist style that became his main form of artistic production from the 1980s on. Nanao taught lithography and painting at California State University at Hayward from 1971-1990, and lectured at various other schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York City, City of San Francisco, Pasadena Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum, Cincinnati Museum of Art, Honolulu Academy of Art, Gruenwald (University of California, Los Angeles), the Achenbach Foundation, and others. Kenjilo Nanao died in Berkeley, CA in 2013 and is survived by his wife and son Max.
Provenance:
The Kenjilo Nanao papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2016 and 2018 by Gail Nanao, Kenjilo Nanao's widow.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area  Search this
Educators -- California  Search this
Lithographers -- California  Search this
Topic:
Japanese American artists  Search this
Asian American artists  Search this
Asian American painters  Search this
Asian American printmakers  Search this
Asian American educators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Diaries
Drawings
Citation:
Kenjilo Nanao papers, circa 1885-1887, circa 1949-2017. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nanakenj
See more items in:
Kenjilo Nanao papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9496e27a8-fbe8-42d4-b862-c730a2a51d1e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nanakenj