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Ray Yoshida papers, circa 1895-2010, bulk 1950-2005

Biographical Note

Ray Yoshida (1930-2009) was a Japanese American painter, collagist, and educator based in Chicago, Illinois.
Raymond Kakuo Yoshida was born in Kapaa, Hawaii, in 1930. He attended the University of Hawaii for two years and completed a B.A. in Arts Education at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953. He also served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean War. In 1957 he recieved his M.F.A from Syracuse University and became a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1959. He was named Frank Harold Sellers Professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing in 1971, retired as professor emeritus in 1998, and continued to teach until 2003.
Yoshida was a member of the Chicago Imagists, a loose and informal group of representational artists from the late 1960s to early 1970s who were influenced by Surrealism and connected to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Yoshida's friends and contemporaries among this group include but are not limited to Roger Brown, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, and Barbara Rossi. Yoshida was an inspiring teacher and he mentored many of the later Chicago Imagists such as Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum.
Yoshida's paintings and collages were strongly influenced by comics as well as his own collection of folk and outsider art. He regularly exhibited at Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago from 1975 to 1996, and a major retrospective of his work was organized by the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu in 1998. He retired to Hawaii in 2005 where he lived until his death in 2009 due to cancer. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Sullivan Galleries held a posthumous retrospective exhibition of Yoshida's work from 2010-2011 and the John Michael Kohler Art Center had an exhibition of Yoshida's personal collection of art and artifacts in 2013.