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Shimomura Crossing the Delaware

Title
Roger Shimomura Self-portrait
Artist
Roger Shimomura, born 1939
Sitter
Roger Shimomura, born 1939
Date
2010
Type
Painting
Medium
Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions
3 canvas panels each: 182.9 x 121.9cm (72 x 48")
Overall Unframed: 182.9 x 365.8cm (72 x 144")
Overall Framed: 193 x 375.9cm (76 x 148")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift of Raymond L. Ocampo Jr., Sandra Oleksy Ocampo, and Robert P. Ocampo
Restrictions & Rights
© Roger Shimomura
Object number
NPG.2012.71
Culture
Roger Shimomura: American\Asian American\Japanese American
Exhibition Label
As an artist, Roger Shimomura (born 1939) has focused particular attention on the experiences of Asian Americans and the challenges of being “different” in America. He knows well the pain and embarrassment associated with xenophobia: as a small child during World War II, he and his family were relocated from their home in Seattle to a Japanese American internment camp in Idaho.
This painting takes as its source Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, which is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Shimomura presents himself in the guise of America’s Founding Father; he replaces George Washington’s colonial troops with samurai warriors; and he remakes the body of water they cross to resemble San Francisco Harbor with Angel Island (the processing center for Asian immigrants) in the background. The work echoes the compositional format of a Katsushika Hokusai wood-block print.
Provenance
The artist
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
20th Century Americans: 2000 to Present
On View
NPG, South Gallery 341