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Tea and Conversation - Yamanaka & Company: An Asian American Story
Join researcher Najiba Choudhury and filmmaker Mika Yatsuhashi as they discuss the legacy of Yamanaka & Company, a Japanese art dealership whose owners endured discrimination and forced sales of their property during World War II. Yamanaka & Company was one of the most well-known art dealers selling Asian art to Western buyers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A family business initially based in Osaka, Japan, it became a global leader in selling Asian art. In 1894, the company opened a gallery in New York City, with branches subsequently opening in Boston, Chicago, London, and Beijing. Asian objects from East, South, and Southeast Asia sold by Yamanaka are now in leading museums around the world, including the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Freer Gallery of Art. During World War II, the company’s property was confiscated and sold, and at least one of those objects eventually entered the Freer Gallery collection. How can knowing this history impact the way we view artworks and expand our understanding of the contributions and experiences of Asian Americans? This conversation features a screening of Yatsuhashi’s short film An Uninterrupted View of the Sea, which includes material from the Freer and Sackler and from the director’s own family archives. The film also streams from May 26–31.

May 26, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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