Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

American Citizen #1
  • Roger Shimomura
    born 1939
    born: Seattle, Washington, United States ; active: United States
  • American Citizen #1, 2006
  • Where object was made: United States
  • color lithograph
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 406 x 304 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 16 x 11 15/16 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 470 x 355 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 18 1/2 x 14 in
    Mat Dimensions: 25 x 20 in
  • Gift of the artist
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0093
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Inventing Childhood", 15-Oct-2016
The work of Japanese-American artist Shimomura betrays the many ways that childhood experiences mark adult identities. At first glance, these lithographs appear to show idyllic scenes of a young, well-tended boy who entertains himself in a peaceful home. The serene blue sky glimpsed through the window, however, is marred by sharp rows of barbed wire. These prints, like others Shimomura has created, portray his experiences while interned at Camp Minidoka, Idaho, during World War II. Inspired by his grandmother’s diaries and his own intimate memories, the artist represents the small human details of daily life within the context of an internment camp.

Mobile App Exhibition Label:
"Inventing Childhood", 15-Oct-2016
In addition to prints from his American Citizen series, two of which are seen here, Roger Shimomura also references his time spent in a Japanese internment camp in his book Memories of Childhood, which is also in the Spencer Museum’s collection. This book of ten lithographs with letterpress quotes portrays his earliest memories while interned with his paternal grandmother and parents at Camp Minidoka, Idaho, between 1942 and 1944.