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Maker(s):Kuniyoshi, Yasuo
Culture:American born in Japan (1889-1953)
Title:She's Going
Date Made:1944
Materials:oil on canvas
Measurements:canvas: 16 1/8 x 12 in.; 40.9575 x 30.48 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1972.115
Credit Line:Gift of Dorothy and James Schramm (Class of 1926)
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
Half length figure of a woman wearing a hat looking through a window with mountains visible in the background.

AD))): A woman leans through an orange window frame. The top of her head holds up the bottom edge of the green curtain that hangs over the top half of the window. She wears a small hat that perches on her dark hair, a long-sleeved orange blouse, and a leather jacket hanging over her left shoulder. Her eyes appear to be closed or unfocused. Her hands are crossed over each other, left over right, and her skin has a greenish tint to it. In the background, high yellow grasses and mountains rest against a gray sky. The color palate of this painting is various shades of green, orange, yellow, and grey. (Shinsaku Kataoka '26)

Label Text:
Kuniyoshi frequently created portraits of a lone, introspective woman. In She’s Going, the subject is pictured before a barren landscape that may reflect the Japanese-born artist’s increasing despondency during World War II—a time of heightened anti-Japanese sentiment in the US, when the government persecuted citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent.

Although Kuniyoshi was the first living artist to receive a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1948), critics sometimes challenged the validity of presenting his work as American. (Immigration law prevented Kuniyoshi from ever gaining citizenship.) In a 1940 speech at the Museum of Modern Art, the artist questioned what constituted “American” versus “un-American” art. Defying the nationalistic and regionalist thinking of the day, he said he believed that “the boundaries of nations are not the boundaries of Art.”

Lisa Crossman, 2020

painting; portraits; women; windows; Japanese-American

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