Internment camp art to be displayed at California museum

A California museum has acquired an art collection created by Japanese Americans held in internment camps after an East Coast auction house canceled the sale of photographs and other artifacts amid protests.

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles will display the collection of art done by people of Japanese descent who were imprisoned over fears that they were spies.

Roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated at 10 relocation camps after the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

quotThe mission of the Japanese American National Museum is to share this story,quot said museum President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Kimura. quotWe honor the sacrifice of our forebears who suffered to prove their loyalty to the US by ensuring that such constitutional violations never happen again.quot

The collection includes nameplates carved from wood that were once attached to tar-paper barracks, watercolor and oil paintings, wood animal sculptures, wooden furniture and black-and-white photographs of residents in their daily lives. The art and artifacts will become part of the museum’s permanent collection, which includes more than 100,000 items. Museum spokesman Ben Mann said there are no plans yet for an exhibition specifically featuring the internment items, though that is a possibility.