Skip to main content

Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers, circa 1940-2001

Okubo, Miné, 1912-2001

Painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.4 Linear feet

Summary: The Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall collection of Miné Okubo papers measure 1.4 linear feet and date from circa 1940 to 2001. Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall were long-time friends with and patrons of Okubo from the late 1950s until her death. The collection contains letters, writings, and sketches by Okubo. Among the printed materials is a copy of the 1944 special edition of Fortune magazine which was sympathetic to Japanese Americans interned during World War II and for which Okubo was hired to illustrate. Also found are scattered documents relating to Hall and Leeper.
Biographical materials consist of Roy Leeper's medical licenses. The bulk of the collection is comprised of Miné Okubo's letters, many of which are illustrated, to Hall and Leeper discussing her health, career, their purchase of her artwork, and mutual friends. Other correspondents include Howard Hamilton and Doris and Harry Tono. Writings and notes by Okubo inlcude a statement about the pricing of her artwork and a list of artwork. Leeper and Hall's personal business records concern the purchase and loan of Okubo's artwork for exhibitions.
Printed materials include a 1944 edition of Fortune magazine devoted to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The issue includes reproductions of Okubo's illustrations of life in the World War II internment camp in Topaz, Utah. Photographs include snapshots of Okubo at an exhibition with her art and of works of art. Sketches and drawings depict mostly cats and flowers.

Biographical/Historical Note

Miné Okubo (1912-2001) was a Japanese-American painter, illustrator, and author. She is known for her book Citizen 13600 in which she described her experience at the Topaz War Relocation Camp in Utah through prose and drawings.

Provenance

Roy Leeper and Gaylord Hall donated the collection of Miné Okubo papers in 2001.

Related Materials

Language Note

The collection is in English.

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool