Tucson Desert Art Museum
MUSEUM EXHIBITION OPENING IN OCTOBER 2022 EXPLORES JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS IN ARIZONA.
Opening October 12th in the Tucson Desert Art Museum, “Citizen/Enemy: Japanese American Internment” confronts an uncomfortable period in American history. The 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left America in a state of paranoia and uncertainty. Concern was voiced that American citizens of Japanese descent would have sympathies for the enemy-at-war Japan and could transmit critical information regarding the war effort to the enemy.
This paranoia, coupled with economic pressures, led to the 1942 Executive Order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt which enabled the US government to relocate people of Japanese descent to internment camps. Approximately 120,000 persons were relocated and spent the duration of the war in poorly designed, makeshift camps, some of which were in Arizona. When relocated, people could bring only what they could carry. They were forced to board up their homes and leave their farms and jobs for an indefinite time.
“Citizen/Enemy” describes the tragedy of this political action and the resulting repercussions for Japanese Americans. Large-scale images from noted photographer Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and others memorialize this period and offer a guide for reflection in the exhibition. Although some reparations were eventually paid to Japanese- Americans, they were never fully compensated for their economic losses or the loss in dignity and freedom that citizens felt during this time. Many lost their farms, homes, and livelihoods completely due to the internment.
“As we, as a Nation, review current immigration policies and challenges to curriculum in our education system for our youth, this exhibition provides a timely reminder that sometimes history is uncomfortable to view, but that we can always learn from our past.”
Rhonda Smith, the Director of the Museum states. “Our Museum asks guests to visualize history through art. This exhibition uses large photographs, installations, and historical documents to encourage our guests to do just that: imagine that they were forced to endure what happened during this time to Japanese Americans.”
Citizen/Enemy: Japanese American Internment opens October 12th and continues through March 25, 2023. An event is planned for the Day of Remembrance in February 2023.
Tucson Desert Art Museum, 501(c)(3) organization that opened in November 2013, presents thought-provoking exhibitions that explore the art, history, and cultures of the Southwest and surrounding regions. The museum showcases a world-class permanent collection of Native American textiles, western art, and artifacts, as well as special yearly exhibitions. The facility includes a Southwestern art gallery and gift shop and plenty of dedicated parking. The Museum offers guided tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for schools, seniors, and community groups.
Museum admission is $10.00/adults, $8.00/seniors, and $6.00/students.
Address: Tucson Desert Art Museum: 7000 East Tanque Verde Road, Tucson, AZ 85715 Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 AM – 3 PM