Guide to the Miné Okubo papers

Processed by Eric Milenkiewicz, 2010.

Special Collections & Archives
The UCR Libraries
P.O. Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, California 92517-5900
Phone: 951-827-3233
Fax: 951-827-4673
Email: specialcollections@ucr.edu
URL: http://library.ucr.edu/?view=collections/spcol
©2010
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Miné Okubo papers
Date (inclusive): 1932-2009, undated
Date (bulk): 1970-1979
Collection Number: 094
Creator: Okubo, Miné
Extent: 0.75 linear feet (1 document box, 1 Map-case folder)
Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Riverside, CA 92517-5900
Abstract: This collection is comprised of press clippings, correspondence, artwork, brochures, and other material regarding the personal and professional life of Miné Okubo. Includes material on Okubo's book Citizen 13660 and the art exhibit Miné Okubo: An American Experience. Mailings from Okubo to personal contacts that contain correspondence, artwork, exhibit brochures, and original envelopes are also included. Additionally, there is material on Japanese American life in the United States that focuses on the World War II internment of Japanese Americans next hit , Miné Okubo's experiences at war relocation camps during World War II, and the history of Japanese Americans in Riverside, California.
Languages: The collection is in English.

Access

This collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item]. Miné Okubo papers, Collection 094. University of California, Riverside Libraries, Special Collections & Archives, University of California, Riverside.

Acquisition Information

The Miné Okubo papers were acquired as a gift in 1974.

Processing History

Processed by Eric Milenkiewicz, 2010.

Biography

Miné Okubo was born on June 27, 1912 in Riverside, California. Okubo attended Riverside Junior College and went on to receive both a bachelor's and master's degree in Fine Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1938, Okubo was awarded the Bertha Henicke Taussig Traveling Fellowship to study art in Europe for eighteen months. At the conclusion of her fellowship Okubo returned to the United States and accepted a job as an artist through the federal Works Progress Administration in Northern California. The bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 would forever change the course of Okubo's life. On April 24, 1942 she was forced into a Japanese internment camp and had to relocate to the Tanforan Relocation Camp in San Bruno, California and was later transferred to the Central Utah Relocation Camp in Topaz, Utah. While being held at the relocation camp Okubo completed numerous pen and ink drawings that illustrated daily life for the camp's detainees. She would later publish this collection of drawings and sketches in the acclaimed book Citizen 13660 that gave the world insight into the treatment of the Japanese at these camps. Okubo eventually moved to New York, New York and continued her career as an artist creating numerous artistic works throughout her career that included illustrations for several publications such as Fortune, Time, and Life. She also served as an active voice of the Japanese American community and even testified before the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation in 1981. Miné Okubo died on February 10, 2001 at the age of 88 in Greenwich Village in New York City.

Chronology

1912: Miné Okubo was born in Riverside, California on June 12th.
1935: Okubo graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.
1936: Okubo graduated from UC Berkeley with a master's degree in Fine Arts.
1939-1941: Okubo was commissioned by the Federal Arts Program as an artist on public art projects.
1942: Okubo was forced to evacuate under Executive Order #9066 as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II.
1946: Okubo's Citizen #13660 was published by Columbia University Press.
1950-1952: Okubo taught art at University of California, Berkeley.
1974: An exhibition of Okubo's paintings was held at Riverside Community College.
  Okubo was named Alumna of the Year at Riverside Community College.
1991: Okubo received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art of the College Art Association.
2001: Miné Okubo died in New York, New York on February 10th.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection is comprised of press clippings, correspondence, artwork, brochures, and other material regarding the personal and professional life of Miné Okubo. Includes material on Okubo's book Citizen 13660 and the art exhibit Miné Okubo: An American Experience. Mailings from Okubo to personal contacts that contain correspondence, artwork, exhibit brochures, and original envelopes are also included. Additionally, there is material on Japanese American life in the United States that focuses on the World War II previous hit internment of Japanese Americans next hit , Miné Okubo's experiences at war relocation camps during World War II, and the history of Japanese Americans in Riverside, California.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged into three series. The contents of each series are arranged sequentially according to box and folder number. The series arrangement of this collection is as follows:
  • Series 1. Japanese American Life, 1943-1979, undated.
  • Series 2. Personal Correspondence, 1941-1977, undated.
  • Series 3. Professional Career, 1932-2009, undated.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Klotz, Esther.
Japanese American artists.
Japanese Americans Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.

Genres and Forms of Materials

Clippings (information artifacts).
Correspondence.
Works of art.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Japanese American Life. 1943-1979, undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains press clippings, publications, and other material regarding Japanese American life in the United States. Topics include the World War II previous hit internment of Japanese Americans , Miné Okubo's experiences at war relocation camps during World War II, and the history of Japanese Americans in Riverside, California.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged sequentially according to box and folder number.
Box 1, Folder 1

Press clippings, publications, and other material regarding Japanese American life in the United States (includes photocopies). 1943-1978, undated.

Box 1, Folder 2

Thesis titled Miné Okubo, Artist by Edna Ikeda from the University of California, Riverside (photocopy). 1979.

 

Series 2. Personal Correspondence. 1941-1977, undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains correspondence, artwork, and other material sent from Miné Okubo to Clifford Wurfel and Esther and Leo Klotz. Includes material that was mailed with the original correspondence such as artwork and sketches by Okubo and brochures for art exhibits. The original mailing envelopes are also included.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged sequentially according to box and folder number.
Box 1, Folder 3

Correspondence, artwork, and other material sent from Miné Okubo to Clifford Wurfel. 1976-1977.

Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence, artwork, and other material sent from Miné Okubo to Esther and Leo Klotz. 1941-1977, undated.

 

Series 3. Professional Career. 1932-2009, undated.

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains press clippings, artwork, and other material regarding Miné Okubo's professional career as an artist. Includes material related to Okubo's book Citizen 13660, the Miné Okubo: An American Experience art exhibit, and other aspects of her career. Original artwork by Miné Okubo is also included.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged sequentially according to box and folder number.
Box 1, Folder 5

Artwork by Miné Okubo. 1976, undated.

Box 1, Folder 6

Exhibit catalog and press clippings regarding the Miné Okubo: An American Experience exhibit (includes photocopies). 1972, undated.

Box 1, Folder 7

Press clippings, brochures, and other material regarding Miné Okubo's book Citizen 13660 (includes photocopies). 1946-1974, undated.

Box 1, Folder 8

Press clippings, brochures, and other material regarding Miné Okubo's involvement with Riverside City College in Riverside, California (includes photocopies). 1932-1974.

Box 1, Folder 9

Press clippings regarding Miné Okubo and her career as an artist (includes photocopies). 1968-2009, undated.

Map-Case B11, Folder 3

Artwork (oversize) by Miné Okubo. 1948-1966, undated.