Jun Fujita: American Visionary


Jun Fujita: American Visionary, presented by the Newberry and the Poetry Foundation, focused on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita. This exhibition presented an expanded version of Jun Fujita: Oblivion, first mounted at the Poetry Foundation in 2017, and exploreed Fujita’s poetry, photojournalism, landscape photography, and uncommon life and love.

Born outside of Hiroshima in 1888, Fujita came to Chicago in 1909, becoming the first Japanese American photojournalist. As an English-language tanka poet, he published regularly in Poetry during the 1920s; as a photographer, he captured many of the most infamous moments in Chicago history, including the Eastland Disaster, the 1919 race riots, and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Throughout his work, Fujita put forward a vision of what “American” can mean, achieving unprecedented success in his profession despite the hostility, prejudice, and persecution he faced as a Japanese native.