Emiko Nakano


Name Emiko Nakano
Born July 4 1925
Died March 7 1990
Birth Location Sacramento, Calif.
Generational Identifier

Nisei

Nisei painter, printer and freelance fashion illustrator Emiko Nakano (1925-90) was born on July 4, 1925, in Sacramento, California, to immigrant parents from Japan. She was one of six children and grew up in Chico, California. Nakano was a high school student when the United States entered World War II, which resulted in her family being incarcerated first at the Merced Assembly Center in California and then at Amache in Colorado. After three years, the family returned to Richmond, California, and she enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts in the fall of 1947 through the summer of 1951. There, she studied under Clyfford Still, James Budd Dixon, Edward Corbett, Richard Diebenkorn, Hassel Smith, and Elmer Bischoff, painting landscapes with abstracted geometric compositions. [1] She also spent one summer in 1949 at the University of California, Berkeley, and one summer in 1952 at Mills College in Oakland.

From 1951 to 1959, she participated in the San Francisco Art Association oil painting, drawing/print, and watercolor annual exhibitions. By the mid-1950s, her work became increasingly abstracted and incorporated bright colors as well as sumi-e ink.[2] She won prizes in the San Francisco Women Artists shows held at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1953 and 1956, as well as in the San Francisco Art Association annuals in 1953, 1954, and 1957. In the 1950s, she worked as a freelance fashion illustrator in San Francisco.

She died on March 7, 1990, in Richmond, California.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Chang, Gordon H., Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors. Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008.

Wechsler, Jeffrey, ed. Asian Traditions/Modern Expressions: Asian American Artists and Abstraction, 1945-1970. New York: H.N. Abrams in association with the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 1997.

Footnotes

  1. Gordon H. Chang, Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008), 393.
  2. Gordon H. Chang, Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970'’ (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008), 393.