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Perspectives from Postwar Hiroshima Chuzo Tamotzu, Children’s Drawings, and the Art of Resolution

Directors' Foreword

This selection of works by Japanese school children from Hiroshima and by the Japanese-American artist Chuzo Tamotzu (1888–1975), features the legacy of an ambitious exchange of drawings conceived by Tamotzu in the early 1950s. Representing students from seventeen different elementary schools in Hiroshima, the children’s drawings featured here were created as part of an art exchange with students in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which was organized by Tamotzu, who had moved to the city in the American Southwest, in concert with Susan B. Anderson, the Director of Art Education of the Santa Fe city schools, as a means of fostering reconciliation between Japan and the United States in the wake of World War II.

Although the drawings created as part of this undertaking by American students have not been relocated since their exhibition in Japan, newspaper articles capture the international excitement generated by this exchange. Today, the works created by Japanese students, carefully preserved by Tomatzu’s family, enable us to understand and benefit from Tamotzu’s conviction that the creative vision of young people could foster new channels of communication and reconciliation across cultural and political boundaries. Perspectives from Postwar Hiroshima: Chuzo Tamotzu, Children’s Drawings, and the Art of Resolution addresses the thematic choices of the young Japanese artists and reflects upon the project’s long-term significance for the participants and for our understanding of Tamotzu’s own artistic legacy and his commitment to honoring his Japanese heritage as an American artist.

Anne Collins Goodyear
Co-Director, Bowdoin College Museum of Art