Scope and Content
Title: Fukuhara (Henry) Paint Out Collection
Collection Number: [Accession no. xxxx OR "Consult repository."]
[2.5 linear ft]
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Archives and Special Collections
Archives & Special Collection
University Library, Room G-145
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3013
The focus of the Henry Fukuhara Collection is the art, life, and work of watercolor artist
Henry Fukuhara. It includes photographs and notes from various workshops called
"paint-outs," held at former Japanese American concentration camps. The collection also
includes photographs from exhibits, hand painted correspondence, flyers, gallery information,
books, magazines, news clippings, and DVD's.
Language: Collection material is in English
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is
given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not
intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
[Title of item], FUKUHARA (HENRY) PAINT OUT COLLECTION, Courtesy of the Department of
Archives and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez
The initial collection was donated by Mary Higuchi in 2011.
This collection was processed by Shannon Salcido in 2011. All photos were left in original albums; other materials were arranged
chronologically and by type of item.
Henry Fukuhara (April 25, 1913 – January 31, 2010) was a Japanese American abstract
watercolor artist. He is best know for his watercolor paintings of Santa Monica, CA. and
Manzanar, a World War II era Japanese American concentration camp where he and his family
were imprisoned in 1942 and 1943. He began painting in his later life and quickly became a
teacher and mentor to many modern artists and continues to influence watercolor artists today.
Fukuhara has permanent collections at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Bernardino Museum
of Art, and the Japanese American Museum of Art. He was also a member of the National Watercolor
Fukuhara was born in Fruitland, California but grew up in Santa Monica. He attended Santa
Monica High School where he first became aware of his artistic talents. After he graduated from
high school he enrolled in Otis College of Art and Design, but was soon forced to drop out in
order to help his family through the depression era. Aside from a few art shows in the 1930’s,
Fukuhara did not pursue any sort of career in art. After the U.S. was attacked by the Japanese at
Pearl Harbor, Fukuhara and his family, like many other Japanese Americans, were forced into
concentration camps. They arrived at Manzanar, in the California Owens Valley, in April of
1942. Fukuhara lived in a one room home with his wife, daughter, parents, and brother and
sister-in-law. While at Manzanar, he worked in the drafting department as a grave surveyor.
During this time art was a way for him pass the time. The family left Manzanar in 1943 when they
agreed to leave the west coast. They soon settled in Long Island, New York, where they started
a retail and wholesale flower growing business. Art was put on the backburner while the
Fukuhara’s raised their family. Years later, with his children grown, Fukuhara took to
It was during the 1970’s that Fukuhara began to study painting with a real focus. He attended
workshops and studied with many prominent artists such as Edgar Whitney, Robert E. Wood, Rex
Brandt, George Post, and Carl Molno. In 1987 Fukuhara moved back to his home town of Santa
Monica CA. when he inherited his childhood home. He has gotten tremendous praise for his
watercolors of Santa Monica which he created during this time. He also studied and taught art at
Emeritus College in Santa Monica, a section of Santa Monica College dedicated to serving the
older adult community.
Perhaps Fukuhara is most well know for his paintings of Manzanar and the “paint outs”, or
workshops, he organized at the site of the concentration camp and its surrounding areas of
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, Independence, Keeler, and Mt. Whitney. The first Manzanar workshop
took place in 1998 as a fundraiser to preserve the Manzanar site and he continued them yearly to
help raise awareness about the concentration camps. Manzanar was not the only site for the
“paint-outs,” others took place in Torrance and San Pedro, California and various other
California areas. He went blind from glaucoma but continued to paint with the help of his
friends who would visit him regularly. Fukuhara died in a nursing home in Orange County CA.
in early 2010. Even after his death the Manzanar workshops continue with the help of his friend
and fellow artist Al Setton
Scope and Content
This collection contains photographs and notes from Henry Fukuhara’s Manzanar Workshops in
which he painted for and instructed other painters on his watercolor techniques; the photos
are from the 1999 through 2002 workshops. There are also photos from other workshops, or
“paint outs” in places other than Manzanar such as Torrance, Santa Monica, and San Pedro
California. The collection also contains photos from Fukuhara art exhibits. In addition to
photos the collection includes hand painted correspondence between Fukuhara and his colleague
Mary Higuchi, gallery flyers, DVD’s, and magazines, books, and news clipping in which Fukuhara’s
works are featured.
All materials were donated in Spring 2011. Mary Higuchi donated all materials except the DVD
which was donated by Watercolor West, and two books donated by ADC Fine Arts gallery. Photos in
this collection have been kept in original order and in the albums in which they were donated.
Most photos have no specifics written on them. This is a growing collection.
Arranged in two series:
- Series I. Albums (1999-2004)
- Series II. Papers, Books, and DVD (1992-2005)
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 -- Pictorial Works
Japanese American Painters
Manzanar War Relocation Center
Manzanar War Relocation Center--1940-1950
Watercolor Painting, Abstract
Watercolor Painting, American
Alabama Hills (Calif.)
Lone Pine (Calif.)
San Pedro (Los Angeles, California)