A Finding Aid to the Roger Shimomura Papers,
1965-1990
, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.shimroge
Creators:
Shimomura, Roger, 1939-
Dates:
1959-2014
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
13.6 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter, printmaker, performance artist, and teacher Roger Shimomura measure 13.6 linear feet and date from 1959 to 2014. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, notes, printed material, one scrapbook, and photographs. There is a 11.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2019 that includes comprehensive project files with initial sketches, technical diagrams, budgets, materials lists, collaborator correspondence, communications with gallerists, curators and venues, and related press clippings; professional correspondence; writings including notebooks related to performance and painting developments, diaristic dated entries, and two experimental notebooks with "diary entries" for 'An American Diary' project; personal business records containing loan records and budgets for projects and exhibitions, and contracts for performance and film commissions; printed material; scrapbooks; and photographs of installations and events. Also included are 17 videocassettes (U-matic) concerning Kabuki theater performances and other perfomances. Materials date from circa 1959-2014.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The papers of painter, printmaker, performance artist, and teacher Roger Shimomura measure 13.6 linear feet and date from 1965 to 1990. Found within the papers are biographical materials, correspondence, writings, notes, printed material, one scrapbook, and photographs.
Biographical materials include a photograph of Shimomura and a resume. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence files about exhibitions, grants, performances, lectures, and the Japanese-American redress movement. Correspondence is with friends, colleagues, galleries, and with universities and colleges. Correspondents include Frank Chin, Akiko Day, Jonathan R. T. Hughes, and Wayne Miller. Writings and notes include Shimomura's artist's statement, scripts to four plays, and one folder of miscellaneous notes. The papers also include clippings, exhibition announcements, catalogs and miscellaneous printed material. A scrapbook contains clippings of articles that document Shimomura's career. Photographs are of artwork by other artists.
There is a 11.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2019 that includes comprehensive project files with initial sketches, technical diagrams, budgets, materials lists, collaborator correspondence, communications with gallerists, curators and venues, and related press clippings; professional correspondence; writings including notebooks related to performance and painting developments, diaristic dated entries, and two experimental notebooks with "diary entries" for 'An American Diary' project; personal business records containing loan records and budgets for projects and exhibitions, and contracts for performance and film commissions; printed material; scrapbooks; and photographs of installations and events. Also included are 17 video cassettes (U-matic) concerning Kabuki theater performances and other perfomances. Materials date from circa 1959-2014.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series:
    Missing Title
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1989-1990 (Box 1; 1 folder)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1969-1990 (Boxes 1-3; 2.3 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1984, 1987-1989 (Box 3; 5 folders)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1975-1990 (Box 4; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Scrapbook, 1975-1989 (Box 4; 1 folder)
  • Series 6: Photographs, circa 1970s (Box 4; 1 folder)
  • Series 7: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1959-2014 (Boxes 5-15; 11.0 linear feet)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Roger Shimomura (b. 1939) is a Japanese American painter, printmaker, performance artist, and teacher who has worked primarily in Kansas since 1969.
Roger Shimomura was born in 1939 in Seattle, Washington. He was a third generation Japanese-American and received his B.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Washington in 1961, and a M.F.A. in Painting from Syracuse University in 1969. Shimomura spent two childhood years in one of 10 concentration camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII, and later served as an officer in the United States Army from 1962 to 1965. He was active in the Japanese-American redress movement in the 1970s. Since the 1970s, Shimomura's work has combined American popular imagery with the Japanese ukiyo-e tradition.
He has had over 125 solo exhibitions of paintings and prints, as well as presented his experimental theater pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace, New York City, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Shimomura has been a visiting artist and lectured on his work at more than 200 universities, art schools, and museums across the country. Shimomura began teaching at the University of Kansas' Department of Art in 1969 and worked there until his retirement in 2004. At that time he started the Shimomura Faculty Research Support Fund, an endowment to foster faculty research in the Department of Art. Throughout his career, Shimomura has had numerous exhibitions and experimental theater pieces on a national level. In 1999, the Seattle Urban League designated a scholarship in his name that has been awarded annually to a Seattle resident pursuing a career in art. In 2002, the College Art Association presented him with the "Artist Award for Most Distinguished Body of Work," for his 4 year, 12-museum national tour of the painting exhibition, "An American Diary." Shimomura continues to live and work in Kansas.

Administration
Author
Jean Fitzgerald and Eden Orelove
Provenance
Roger Shimomura donated a portion of his papers in 1990, as part of the Archives of American Art's Northwest Asian-American project in Seattle. Shimomura donated the bulk of the material in 2019.
Processing Information
The Roger Shimomura papers were processed by Jean Fitzgerald in 2001. A finding aid for the collection was created by Eden Orelove in 2011.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Roger Shimomura papers, 1959-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American painting Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American art Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American art Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scripts (documents) Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American painters Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American printmakers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Asian American performance artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Performance artists -- Kansas -- Lawrence Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- Kansas -- Lawrence Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Kansas -- Lawrence Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching -- Kansas -- Lawrence Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miller, Wayne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chin, Frank, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hughes, Jonathan R. T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Day, Akiko Personal 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/