Art of Circumstance: Art and Artifacts Created by Japanese Americans Incarcerated During WWII

Exhibition Website

Nov 5 2016 - Apr 30 2017

Art of Circumstance


 displays the inventive and creative spirit of the Japanese Americans incarcerated in relocation camps across the Southwest during World War II. After Executive Order 9066 passed on February 19, 1942, thousands of Japanese Americans had to pack what few belongings they were allowed and forced to spend the next four years of their lives behind a guarded fence.  Since the incarceration camps did not provide items of convenience such as tables and chairs, residents used scraps and found materials to make everyday objects that we take for granted. Most of the people constructing furniture or crafting art pieces had no prior training or had ever created art pieces before their incarceration. Due to the limited amount of materials provided by the camps, nothing went to waste. From cigarette cartons to loosened floorboards, they reused everything to help dilute the reality of their incarceration and create beautiful and functional works of art.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • American
  • 20th Century
  • Ethnic / Gender
  • Various artists

Exhibition Venues & Dates