This Friday, April 17, Rago Arts will auction off 450 historical crafts and artifacts made by Japanese Americans confined in 10 WWII concentration camps.
These items were given — not sold — to the original collector, Allen Eaton, because he wanted to display them in an exhibition that would help tell the story of the incarceration of 120,000 innocent people, more than half of them children. It is a betrayal of those imprisoned people who thought their gifts would be used to educate, not be sold to the highest bidder in a national auction, pitting families against museums against private collectors.
Eaton opposed the incarceration and this sale goes against his intent for a public exhibition that received official support.
Please sign this petition to ask Rago Arts to remove Lots 1232-1255 and our cultural patrimony from the auction block. These items were not meant to be viewed in the privacy of a collector’s home and that a price tag should not be put on our cultural property.
Satsuki Ina, Ph.D.
Petition Update: Auction House Rejects Good Faith Discussions
They offered to give me things to the point of embarrassment, but not to sell them…
— Allen H. Eaton, 1952
Auction takes place Friday April 17