Japanese American History: NOT for Sale?

15 04 2015
Estelle Ishigo. Oil on canvas, "disloyal" Japanese-Americans leave Heart Mountain for Tule Lake Segregation Center, California at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, September 21, 1943 Signed 20" x 24" Provenance: Private collection, Connecticut. Acquired from the collection of Allen Hendershott Eaton.

Estelle Ishigo. “Disloyal” Japanese-Americans leave Heart Mountain for Tule Lake Segregation Center, California at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, September 21, 1943.  Oil on canvas, 20″ x 24.”  From the collection of Allen Hendershott Eaton to be auctioned this Friday.

A watercolor of life at Heart Mountain during the winter by Estelle Ishigo, 1943.  Part of the Collection of Allen Hendershott Eaton to be auctioned this Friday.

Estelle Ishigo.  Japanese-American internees swimming in the irrigation canals at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, September 1943. Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in.  Part of the Collection of Allen Hendershott Eaton to be auctioned this Friday.

Japanese American History: NOT for Sale – Facebook Page

Change.org Petition:

Petitioning David Rago Partner + Co-Director, 20th/21st C. Design Dept., Rago Auction House

Stop the April 17 Auction, Lots 1232-1255

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

Help stop the Rago auction of Nikkei heritage property: Pull Lots 1232 – 1255
Rago Auction FB page
@RagoAuctions
‪#‎StopRago‬

Sign the Petition

MEDIA COVERAGE

The New York Times

International Examiner

KGO ABC7 News

CBS Sacramento

Sacramento Bee

Artnet

Rafu Shimpo

Artforum

One of twelve Sumi watercolor on paper views of Tule Lake War Relocation Center, California, ca. 1942 to be auctioned this Friday.  Unsigned, possibly by George T. Tamura

 

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