An interview of Frank Okada conducted 1990 Aug. 16-17, in Seattle, Wash., by Barbara Johns, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project. Okada discusses his parents' background; his family including his brothers, John, author of "No-No Boy," and Charlie, a graphic designer; traveling to Japan for the Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan exhibition; being in an internment camp; painting in Eugene, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.; his painting techniques; studying under Leon Derbyshire; his connection with the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1940s and 1950s including musicians Sammy Davis, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones; attending Cornish School of Art, Seattle; meeting Mark Tobey; comparision of his painting style to Tobey's; his stint in the Army; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and studying with painter Fred Mitchell; his Whitney fellowship in New York; study of Japanese, Chinese, and Zen paintings; working for Boeings in the early 1960s; traveling to France on a Guggenheim; teaching at University of Oregon in Eugene; his minimalist work; influence of Japanese art in his painting. Okada mentions Lawson Inada (Asian American poet), Frank Chin (Asian American playwright), artists David Stone Martin, James Edward Peck, Yayoi Kusama, George Tsutakawa, Paul Horiuchi, Ben Shahn, Kenjiro Nomura, Louis Bunce, Bill Ivey, and art gallery owner Zoe Dusanne.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank S. Okada (1931-2000) was a painter from Seattle, Wash. Taught at Univ. of Oregon from 1969-1999.
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 38 min.
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Two seated women dressed in kimonos play Japanese instruments. The woman on the right plucks the koto while the left strums the shamisen. A painted Japanese screen adorns the background.
Biographical / Historical:
Born to a family of textile merchants in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Kusakabe Kimbei moved to Yokohama in 1859. Although unclear, Kusakabe apprenticed under either Felice Beato and/or Raimond von Stillfried (Bennet, T. (1996) Early Japanese Images. Charles E. Tuttle Company: Rutland Vermont and Tokyo, Japan.) Kusakabe managed a studio in Yokohama, first at Bentendori until 1881, then later at Honcho. His photo studio was well received by many, including foreigners.
R214 (Rosin Number)
FSA A1999.35 214
Title taken from print.
Photographer's original title and number are printed in lower right corner.
2 painted Japanese theater scenes? Accompanied by letter from Nell Byron. Very fragile, brittle. In need of conservation--edges torn and frayed, were folded many times over
Files containing Sturtevant's students' grades have been restricted, as have his students' and colleagues' grant and fellowships applications. Restricted files were separated and placed at the end of their respective series in boxes 87, 264, 322, 389-394, 435-436, 448, 468, and 483. For preservation reasons, his computer files are also restricted. Seminole sound recordings are restricted. Access to the William C. Sturtevant Papers requires an apointment.
William C. Sturtevant papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The papers of William C. Sturtevant were processed with the assistance of a Wenner-Gren Foundation Historical Archives Program grant awarded to Dr. Ives Goddard. Digitization and preparation of these materials for online access has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.
Writer, curator, and professor Benjamin Franklin March Jr. (1899-1934) studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and in China, and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. His papers, dating from 1923 to 1934, document his professional and personal life in the United States and in China and include lecture notes and outlines; research notes; diaries; scrapbooks; and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The Benjamin March Papers span the years 1923 to 1934 and measure 15 linear feet. The collection includes: biographical data included in passports, obituaries, and fifty-seven condolence letters; lecture and course outlines; research notes; four diaries; one scrapbook; four illustrations including sketches for the March bookplate; fourteen photograph albums; printed matter; and 100 personal and artistic photographs.
The collection is divided into the following series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1927-1935
Series 2: Diaries, 1925-1934
Series 3: Writings and Research Materials, 1927-1934, undated
— Subseries 3.1: Lecture Materials
— Subseries 3.2: Research
— Subseries 3.3: Printed Matter
Series 4: Scrapbooks, 1924-1934
Series 5: Graphic Materials, 1925, 1933, undated
— Subseries 5.1: Illustrations
— Subseries 5.2: Photo Albums
— Subseries 5.3: Photographs
1899 -- Born, Chicago, IL. Son of Benjamin Franklin and Isabel (née McNeal)
[1917?] -- Attended Lewis Institute and the YMCA College before transferring to the University of Chicago
1918-1919 -- Military service, Sergeant, Field Remount Squadron, No. 305, Army Service Corps
1922 -- Graduated from the University of Chicago (Ph.B)
1922-1923 -- Attended the Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY
1923-1925 -- Teacher of English, Latin, and Bible Studies at Hopei University; the Second Normal School; and the YMCA in Paotingfu, China
1925 June 25 -- Married Dorothy Rowe in Nanking, China
1925-1927 -- English instructor; Librarian; and Lecturer in Chinese Art, Yenching University Peiping, China
1927, summer -- Lecturer on Chinese art Columbia University
1927-1931 -- Curator of Asiatic Art Detroit Institute of Arts
1928 -- Honorary Curator of Oriental Aesthetic Art at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1928 -- Appointed honorary curator at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
[1929?] -- Daughter (Judith) born
1929 -- China and Japan in Our Museums, published by the American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations
1931 -- Spent six months in China under a special grant from the American Council of Learned Societies to study 13th century painter, Ch'ien Hsuan
1932 -- Curator, Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1932 -- Appointed honorary curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts
1933 -- Awarded a Freer Fellowship
1934 -- Standards of Pottery Description, published by the University of Michigan Press
1934, summer -- Organized, directed, and lectured at a summer session of the Institute of Asiatic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley
1934 December -- Died at home in Ann Arbor, Michigan after a five-week illness (heart ailment)
Far Eastern art writer, curator, and lecturer, Benjamin Franklin March Jr., was born in Chicago on July 4, 1899 to Benjamin and Isabel March. He studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and China and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. Although he lived only thirty-five years, Benjamin March was a respected and influential scholar of Asian art.
After high school, March attended the Lewis Institute and the YMCA College before transferring to the University of Chicago from which he graduated in 1922 (Ph.B). With thoughts of becoming a Methodist minister, March enrolled at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. At the same time, March enrolled in art classes at the Metropolitan Museum. After one year at the seminary, March was presented with and accepted the opportunity to work in China. From 1923 to 1927, March resided in China where he taught and lectured at colleges. Initially, March taught English, Latin, and Bible Studies at Hopei University, the Second Normal School, and the YMCA. From 1925 to 1927, he worked at Yenching University in Peiping (now Peking) as an instructor in English, a librarian, and lecturer in Chinese art.
While in China, March met Dorothy Rowe, the daughter of a Methodist missionary stationed in Nanking. On June 25, 1925 the two were married. Ms. Rowe, whom March sometimes called Doré, had lived in China since infancy. The author of the children's story, "The Begging Dear," Rowe wrote children's stories with Chinese settings.
During the summer of 1927, the March's moved to the United States when Columbia University offered March an appointment as lecturer of Chinese Art. Later that year March was appointed curator of Asiatic art at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He remained at the Detroit Institute of Arts in this capacity until 1931. In 1928, March was appointed Honorary Curator of Oriental Aesthetic Art by the University of Michigan's Museum of Anthropology. The next year, Dorothy March gave birth to the couple's only child, Judith.
During this period March published extensively, including two publications, China and Japan in Our Museums, in 1929 and, Standards of Pottery Description, in 1934. In the latter, March developed a new technique for the scientific study of the materials and methods of manufacture of ancient Chinese pottery. ( Ann Arbor Daily News. -- "Death Takes Noted Curator". -- December 14, 1934)
In 1931, March received a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. This grant allowed March the opportunity to travel to China and Europe to study the 13th century painter, Ch'ien Hsuan. In 1932, March was named a curator at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. The following year he was named a Freer Fellow. The summer of 1934 found March in Berkeley, California, organizing and directing the Institute of Asiatic Studies at the University of California. During the fall of 1934, March fell ill with a heart ailment. He was ill for five weeks before he died, at the age of 35, in December of 1934. At the time of his death, Benjamin March was survived by his wife Dorothy and their daughter, Judith.
The Detroit Institute of Arts maintains administrative correspondence and files generated by Benjamin March during his tenure as curator.
The Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan houses the Benjamin Franklin March drawings collection, This is a collection of drawings by March for his daughter; includes illustrated poems of Pentwater Beach, Michigan.
Judith March Davis, the daughter of Benjamin March, donated her father's papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1995.
Benjamin March's daughter, Judith March Davis, donated her father's papers to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in 1995.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Photographs documenting Ainu people and villages and Japanese boats, paintings, artifacts, structures, burial mound, tombs, and scenery. They also include some images of people and a village in Korea. Many of the mounted prints have been annotated for publication, some for the 1890 Annual Report of the National Museum.
Romyn Hitchcock (1851-1923), was a Smithsonian curator, scientist and author with degrees in chemistry from Cornell University and Columbia University. He spent four years curating for the Smithsonian's National Museum. In 1887, Hitchcock was put in charge of photographic work for the United States Eclipse Expedition to Japan and appointed professor of English at the Koto Chu Gakko, the Japanese government school in Osaka. His studies in Japan led to a number of articles in the Smithsonian Annual Reports in 1890 and 1891. In the early 1890s, he became a commissioner to China for the World Columbian Exposition and later served as an official of the exposition.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 77-38
Location of Other Archival Materials:
R.M. Bartleman photographs of Venezuela, previously filed in 77-38, have been relocated to National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 156.
Photographs in the Hitchcock Collection, previously filed in Photo Lot 97 and Photo Lot 8, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 77-38. These photographs were also made by Romyn Hitchcock and form part of this collection.
Hitchcock donated artifacts from Japan, China, and Sri Lanka to the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, in accessions 022393, 022392, 055059, 021640, 021675, 022518, 021963, 022633, 025499, 014786, 021689, and 023462.
The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library holds Romyn Hitchcock's papers.
See others in:
Romyn Hitchcock photographs of Ainu people, Japan, and Korea, circa 1885-1895
Sanjō Sanetomi to Iwakura Tomomi Meiji Tennō o sasaeta futari : ichidai emaki ga monogataru Bakumatsu Ishin = Sanjo Sanetomi and Iwakura Tomomi : the two people who supported Emperor Meiji : an account of the late Edo period to the Meiji Restoration in biographical picture scrolls
三条実美と岩倉具視 : 明治天皇を支えた二人 : 一代絵卷が語る幕末維新 = Sanjo Sanetomi and Iwakura Tomomi : the two people who supported Emperor Meiji : an account of the late Edo period to the Meiji Restoration in biographical picture scrolls
Sanjo Sanetomi and Iwakura Tomomi : the two people who supported Emperor Meiji
Tanaka, Yūbi 1839-1933 Iwakura Kō gaden sōkō emaki Search this
Tanaka, Yūbi 1839-1933 Sanjō Sanetomi Kō jiseki emaki Search this