Jun Fujita: American Visionary, copresented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation, focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita. This exhibition presents an expanded version of Jun Fujita: Oblivion, first mounted at the Poetry Foundation in 2017, and explores 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.
Throughout the exhibition, a series of related public programs will further explore its major themes. These programs include:
Curator Talk with Katherine Litwin, Fred Sasaki, and Graham Lee
Tuesday, February 4, at 6 pm
The Love and Life of Jun Fujita
Thursday, February 13, at 6 pm
Photographic Memory: Carlos Javier Ortiz Reflects on Jun Fujita’s Iconic Images
Tuesday, March 10, at 6 pm
In addition to these public programs, the Newberry will offer several Fujita-themed courses as part of its adult education seminar program.
This exhibition is free and open to all.