JANM Opens Two New Photography Exhibitions

Making Waves curator Dennis Reed speaks to a packed house at the Members Only exhibition preview event. Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.
Making Waves curator Dennis Reed speaks to a packed house at the Members Only exhibition preview event. Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.

 

On the weekend of February 27–28, JANM opened two new exhibitions, Making Waves: Japanese American Photography, 1920–1940 and Two Views: Photographs by Ansel Adams and Leonard Frank. A Members Only Preview Day, featuring a talk and book signing by Making Waves curator Dennis Reed and a dessert reception, took place on Saturday the 27th, followed by the public opening on Sunday the 28th.

In a special corner of the Making Waves exhibition, guests are invited to play with light and shadow and upload photos of their results to social media with the hashtag #JANMMakingWaves. Photo by JANM.
In a special corner of the Making Waves exhibition, guests are invited to
play with light and shadow and upload photos of their results to social media with the hashtag #JANMMakingWaves. Photo by JANM.

 

The response to these two exhibitions, one of which examines the lost legacy of early 20th-century Japanese American art photographers while the other features documentation of the World War II incarceration of both Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians by iconic photographers, has been very strong. Attendance throughout the weekend was high as both members and non-members excitedly viewed the two new exhibitions.

JANM members enjoy a dessert buffet at the Members Only reception for Making Waves and Two Views. Photo by JANM.
JANM members enjoy a dessert buffet at the Members Only reception for Making Waves and Two Views. Photo by JANM.

On Members Only Preview Day, more than 200 guests crowded into Aratani Central Hall to listen to Dennis Reed’s talk, which explored the lives and work of several of the artists in Making Waves. The families of those artists were present in the audience; earlier in the day, JANM had hosted a private luncheon in their honor.

Los Angeles Times chief art critic Christopher Knight has penned a thoughtful and enthusiastic review of Making Waves, calling it “an absorbing, must-see exhibition” that features “some of the most adventurous avant-garde photographs in the years between the two World Wars.” He raves about the achievements of the photographers in the show, providing a detailed aesthetic analysis, and also recounts the tragic circumstances that cut them short. If you read Christopher Knight regularly, you know that a rave review from him is no small thing!

Dennis Reed (second from left) with Sadao Kimura, Alan Miyatake, and Minnie Takahashi at a special private luncheon held for family members of the photographers featured in Making Waves. Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.
Dennis Reed (second from left) with Sadao Kimura, Alan Miyatake, and Minnie Takahashi at a special private luncheon held for family members of the photographers featured in Making Waves. Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.

 

Many excellent programs are planned in conjunction with these two exhibitions, including gallery tours, panel discussions, and more. A Members Only edition of Learning at Lunch will take place this Friday at 12:15 p.m., featuring guest speaker Frank Sata, son of photographer J.T. Sata, who is featured in Making Waves. A Members Only tour of Making Waves, led by Dennis Reed, will be offered this Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m.; its focus will be on the photographers who worked in Los Angeles. Visit janm.org/events for details. Making Waves will be on view until June 26, while Two Views closes April 24.

Dennis Reed shows the audience an example of a vintage camera. Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.
Dennis Reed shows the audience an example of a vintage camera.
Photo by Nobuyuki Okada.

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