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Kay Sekimachi's Painting of Tanforan Incarceration Camp

Early work from renowned fiber artist

Kay Sekimachi was 15 years old when she and her family arrived at the Japanese American camp known as Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California. She was one of the roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast who were forcibly moved to incarceration camps during World War II. Amid the crushing confinement of the camps, Sekimachi attended the Tanforan Art School founded by artist Chiura Obata (1885–1975), a fellow Japanese American prisoner who recognized the children’s need for continuity and normalcy inside the camps and believed in the healing power of art. 


between 1940-1946
Stocksdale, Kay Sekimachi, 1926-
Place of publication, production, or execution
No place, unknown, or undetermined
Physical Description
1 painting : watercolor ; 23 x 31 cm.
Kay Sekimachi Stocksdale. Tanforan, between 1940-1946. Bob Stocksdale and Kay Sekimachi papers, circa 1900-2015. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Use Note
Current copyright status is undetermined
Location Note
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. 20560
Asian American art
Asian American artists
Japanese American artists
Women artists
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Bob Stocksdale and Kay Sekimachi papers, circa 1900-2015
Data Source
Archives of American Art
Record number
Record ID
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