Size: 3.1 Linear feet
Summary: The papers of Matsumi Kanemitsu measure 3.1 linear feet and date from 1947-1998. The papers document Kanemitsu's career through biographical material; correspondence with friends, family, artists, universities, and galleries; professional files such as teaching files and work on juried shows; personal and business financial records; printed materials, photographs, and artwork.
Matsumi Kanemitsu (1922-1992), also known as Mike Kanemistu was a Japanese American painter based in both New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California. Although born in Utah, Kanemitsu lived in Japan until he was eighteen. In 1940 he returned to the United States, joining the Army in 1941. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was arrested and sent to a series of Army detention camps. With art supplies provided by the American Red Cross, he began to draw with pen and ink and pastels. Eventually, he was released and volunteered for overseas duty as a hospital assistant in Europe. His Army tour ended in 1946. After the war, he studied with Fernand Leger in Paris; with Kuniyoshi, Sternberg, and others at the Art Student's League in New York; and with sculptor Karl Metzler in Baltimore. A highly recognized second generation Abstract Expressionist in New York, Kanemitsu came to live permanently in Los Angeles after recieving a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1961 to work at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop where he created a series of prints that translated sumi painting techniques into lithography. He exhibited widely throughout the United States, as well as Japan, and is work is owned by a number of public institutions in the United States and Japan. In addition to his practice, Kanemitsu also held professorial positions at a number of universities and art institutions including the University of California Berkely, the Chouinard Art Institute, amd the Otis Art Institute.
Donated 1994 and 1998 by Nancy Uyemura, Kanemitsu's former student, friend, and executor.
The collection is in English and Japanese.
The processing of this collection received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund, administered by the National Collections Program and the Smithsonian Collections Advisory Committee.