Ruth Asawa honored as Wednesday's Google Doodle

Her work is also displayed in a variety of museums including The Guggenheim in New York and San Francisco's de Young Museum.

May 1, 2019 14:33
1 minute read.
Ruth Asawa honored as Wednesday's Google Doodle

Wednesday's Google Doodle honors Ruth Asawa. (photo credit: screenshot)


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World-renown Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa was honored with Wednesday's Google Doodle.

Asawa showed a keen interest in art as a young child, and she won her first prize at age 13 for her artwork in a competition on what makes someone an American.

But as America entered World War II, the federal government began enforcing Japanese Americans into internment camps, and her family were sent to one in Arkansas.

The order to incarcerate people of Japanese origin was enforced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Japan attacked on Pearl Harbour, despite the fact that 62% of the detainees being US citizens like Asawa.

Asawa and her family were interned at the assembly centre hastily set up at the Santa Anita racetrack for much of 1942, then they were sent away to Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas.

Despite being interned, she was allowed to leave for college and studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina where she learned to work with wire and other materials, and make installations. Wire became her signature art works.

After completing her studies, she moved to San Francisco, where she raised six children with husband Albert Lanier - an archetect.

Among her permanent installations are Japanese American Internment Memorial Sculpture in San Jose and the Garden of Remembrance, which includes boulders from 10 internment camps, which sits at San Francisco State University.

Asawa was also steadfast advocate for arts education and pushed for the creation of a public arts high school in San Francisco.

Her work is also displayed in a variety of museums including The Guggenheim in New York and San Francisco's de Young Museum.

She died on August 6, 2013, at age 87.

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