Oral history interview with Frank S. Okada

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.okada90
Creators:
Okada, Frank S. (Frank Sumio), 1931-2000
Johns, Barbara
Dates:
1990 Aug. 16-17
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
87 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Frank Okada conducted 1990 Aug. 16-17, in Seattle, Wash., by Barbara Johns, for the Archives of American Art Northwest Asian American Project. Okada discusses his parents' background; his family including his brothers, John, author of "No-No Boy," and Charlie, a graphic designer; traveling to Japan for the Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan exhibition; being in an internment camp; painting in Eugene, Ore. and Seattle, Wash.; his painting techniques; studying under Leon Derbyshire; his connection with the jazz scene in Seattle in the late 1940s and 1950s including musicians Sammy Davis, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones; attending Cornish School of Art, Seattle; meeting Mark Tobey; comparision of his painting style to Tobey's; his stint in the Army; attending Cranbrook Academy of Art and studying with painter Fred Mitchell; his Whitney fellowship in New York; study of Japanese, Chinese, and Zen paintings; working for Boeings in the early 1960s; traveling to France on a Guggenheim; teaching at University of Oregon in Eugene; his minimalist work; influence of Japanese art in his painting. Okada mentions Lawson Inada (Asian American poet), Frank Chin (Asian American playwright), artists David Stone Martin, James Edward Peck, Yayoi Kusama, George Tsutakawa, Paul Horiuchi, Ben Shahn, Kenjiro Nomura, Louis Bunce, Bill Ivey, and art gallery owner Zoe Dusanne.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Frank S. Okada (1931-2000) was a Japanese American painter based in Seattle, Washington. He taught at University of Oregon from 1969-1999.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available on line
Existence and Location of Originals
Transcript also available at the University of Washington, Manuscripts Collection, and at the Oregon Historical Society.
Author
Sponsor
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hrs., 38 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Asian American artists -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, Japanese American influences Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (State) -- Seattle Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Japanese Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Zen Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painting, Chinese Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- United States -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Charles, Ray, 1930-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chin, Frank, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davis, Sammy, 1925- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Derbyshire, Leon Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dusanne, Zoe, 1884-1977 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horiuchi, Paul, 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inada, Lawson Fusao Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ivey, William, 1919-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Quincy, 1933- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kusama, Yayoi, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Martin, David Stone Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nomura, Kenjiro, 1896-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Okada, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peck, James Edward, 1907- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tobey, Mark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tsutakawa, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cornish School of Allied Arts (Seattle, Wash.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Oregon -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cranbrook Academy of Art -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/