The Life and Art of Chiura Obata

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View of San Francisco City Hall from Post and Van Ness Streets, April 25, 1906, by Chiura Obata (American, 1885–1975). Watercolor on paper. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift from the Estate of Chiura Obata, 2021.39. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of

The Life and Art of Chiura Obata

Instructor: 
Kimi Hill
When: 
June 24, 2022
Time: 
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Place: 
Zoom Webinar
Fee: 
$15 per person Society members; $20 per person non-members. Advance registration must be received by SAA by June 17, 2022.


Society for Asian Art and Asian Art Museum are separate non-profit organizations with separate memberships. Please use the appropriate registration buttons to register for Society programs.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Bearing Witness: Selected Works by Chiura Obata, this presentation will explore the career of California artist and distinguished UC Berkeley professor, Chiura Obata (1885-1975). The range of his artwork includes many historical accounts, from the 1906 earthquake to the injustices of incarceration. This exhibit will be on display in the Japanese Galleries starting in June.



Kimi Hill will share how the California landscapes inspired and sustained Obata’s vision of our relationship to nature. His seminal work in Yosemite and the High Sierra was created nearly 100 years ago. His art and philosophy of gratitude and reverence to “Dai Shizen”- Great Nature continues to resonate with admirers, both new and old.


Kimi Hill, Obata’s granddaughter, has consulted on numerous books and exhibitions about her grandfather, including the 2019 Obata retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. As family historian, Hill also edited the book “Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment” which tells the story of the Obata family, one of among the thousands of Japanese Americans incarcerated during WW II.

Registration Policies

The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.

For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.

Please note that by registering for a program, you are giving consent to the SAA to be photographed or videoed as a participant.