Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo Papers, circa 1940-2001, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.okubmine

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.okubmine
Creators:
Okubo, Miné, 1912-2001
Dates:
circa 1940-2001
Languages:
English
The collection is in English.
Physical Description:
1.4 linear feet
Repository:
Archives of American Art
The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 2001. Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall were long-time friends with and patrons of Okubo from the late 1950s until her death. The collection contains letters, writings, and sketches by Okubo. Among the printed materials is a copy of the 1944 special edition of
Fortune
magazine which was sympathetic to Japanese Americans interned during World War II and for which Okubo was hired to illustrate. Also found are scattered documents relating to Hall and Leeper.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 2001. Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall were long-time friends with and patrons of Okubo from the late 1950s until her death. The collection contains letters, writings, and sketches by Okubo. Among the printed materials is a copy of the 1944 special edition of
Fortune
magazine which was sympathetic to Japanese Americans interned during World War II and for which Okubo was hired to illustrate. Also found are scattered documents relating to Hall and Leeper.
Biographical materials consist of Roy Leeper's medical licenses. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Miné Okubo's letters, many of which are illustrated, to Hall and Leeper discussing her health, career, their purchase of her artwork, and mutual friends. Other correspondents include Howard Hamilton and Doris and Harry Tono. Writings and notes by Okubo inlcude a statement about the pricing of her artwork and a list of artwork. Leeper and Hall's personal business records concern the purchase and loan of Okubo's artwork for exhibitions.
Printed materials include a 1944 edition of
Fortune
magazine devoted to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The issue includes reproductions of Okubo's illustrations of life in the World War II internment camp in Topaz, Utah. Photographs include snapshots of Okubo at an exhibition with her art and of works of art. Sketches and drawings depict mostly cats and flowers.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1994 (1 folder; Box 1)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1957-2001 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1940-circa 1970 (3 folders; Box 1)
Series 4: Personal Business Records, 1957-1998 (0.1 linear feet; Box 1)
Series 5: Printed Material, 1944-2000 (0.3 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1940-circa 1990s (3 folders; Box 1)
Series 7: Artwork, 1960s-1997 (0.1 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Miné Okubo (1912-2001) was a Japanese-American painter, illustrator, and author. She is known for her book
Citizen 13600
in which she described her experience at the Topaz War Relocation Camp in Utah through prose and drawings.
Born in Riverside, California in 1912, Okubo began her arts education at Riverside Junior College and transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where she completed her BA and MA in Fine Arts (where she first met Roy Leeper). In 1938, she received an award to travel and study under Fernand Léger in Paris. When World War II began in Europe, she moved back to California and worked under the Federal Arts Project. She produced some solo murals and also assisted Diego Rivera on his Treasure Island mural
Pan American Unity
, (1940).
In April of 1942, Miné Okubo and one of her brothers were sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center under Executive Order 9066, which forcibly interned over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast of the United States. Six months later, they were sent to the Topaz War Relocation Camp in Topaz, Utah. There, Okubo taught art in the camp's school and often sketched camp life. She was art editor for the camp newsletter
Trek
, a supplement to the
Topaz Times
.
In 1944,
Fortune
magazine published a sympathetic special edition on the Japanese and Japanese American internment during World War II. The magazine hired Okubo to illustrate two of the articles. She was permitted to leave the camp and move to New York City, where she remained for the rest of her life, working as a painter and illustrator. She wrote and illustrated a book about her experiences in the Topaz confinement camp,
Citizen 13600
, which won the American Book Award in 1984. Miné Okubo died in 2001. Medical doctor Roy Leeper befriended Miné Okubo while they were both students at the University of California. Later, he and his partner dentist Gaylord Hall were reintroduced to Okubo and her artwork by a mutual friend. They began a life-long relationship with Okuba, both as friends and collectors.

Administration
Processing Information note
The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers were minimally arranged upon receipt. In 2017, Jayna Josefson fully processed and prepared a finding aid with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jayna M. Josefson
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall donated the collection of Miné Okubo papers in 2001.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers, circa 1940-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use note
The Miné Okubo papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.

Related Archival Materials note
Riverside City College in Riverside, California also holds the Miné Okubo papers.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Central Utah Relocation Center. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Gaylord Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hamilton, Howard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leeper, Roy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tono, Doris Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tono, Harry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art patronage Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrated letters Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrators--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters--New York (State)--New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C., 20001
Phone: 202-633-7950
http://www.aaa.si.edu/askus