Ruth Asawa

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Ruth Asawa
Birth nameRuth Aiko Asawa[1]
Born(1926-01-24) January 24, 1926 (age 87)[1]
Norwalk, California[1]
NationalityJapanese American
FieldSculpture
TrainingBlack Mountain College
Influenced byJosef Albers, Peter Grippe[2]
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Ruth Asawa
Birth nameRuth Aiko Asawa[1]
Born(1926-01-24) January 24, 1926 (age 87)[1]
Norwalk, California[1]
NationalityJapanese American
FieldSculpture
TrainingBlack Mountain College
Influenced byJosef Albers, Peter Grippe[2]
WebsiteOfficial website


Ruth Asawa (born January 24, 1926) is a Japanese American sculptor. In San Francisco, she has been called the "fountain lady" for her works that include the "Andrea" mermaid fountain in Ghirardelli Square.[3] In 2010, the San Francisco School of the Arts was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in honor of Asawa.[4]

Biography[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Ruth Asawa was born in 1926 in Norwalk, California, one of seven children. Her father operated a truck farm until the Japanese American internment during World War II. The family lived in the assembly center at the Santa Anita racetrack for much of 1942, then at Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas.[5]

Following graduation from the internment center's high school, she attended Milwaukee State Teachers College, intending to become an art teacher. Unable to get hired for the requisite practice teaching to complete her degree, she left Wisconsin without a degree. (The degree was finally awarded to her in 1998.)[6]

From 1946 to 1949, she studied at Black Mountain College with Josef Albers.[7]

Career[edit]

Asawa's wire sculptures brought her prominence in the 1950s, when her work appeared several times in the annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and in the 1955 São Paulo Art Biennial.[8]

Marriage and children[edit]

Asawa married architect Albert Lanier in July 1949. The couple has six children: Xavier (1950), Aiko (1950), Hudson (1952), Adam (1956), Addie (1958), and Paul (1959).

Selected works[edit]

The fountain at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco

Awards[edit]

Film[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c About Ruth Asawa – Birth Date: 01/24/1926, County of Birth: Los Angeles (Norwalk)
  2. ^ Ruth Asawa (2002). Oral history interview with Ruth Asawa and Albet Lanier, 2002 June 21-July 5. Interview with Paul Karlstrom. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/oralhistories/transcripts/asawa02.htm.
  3. ^ Nakao, Annie (2003-04-29). "Asawa has helped mold cultural life of city". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ Jill Tucker; " S.F. school board votes to send pink out slips. San Francisco Chronicle; February 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Ollman, Leach (2007-05-01). "The Industrious Line". Art in America. 
  6. ^ Auer, James (1998-12-18). "Artist's return remedies a postwar injustice". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. NewsBank document ID 0EB82C32E269DCB3. 
  7. ^ "The College Died, but the Students Really Lived". The New York Times. 1992-03-14. 
  8. ^ Baker, Kenneth (2006-11-18). "An overlooked sculptor's work weaves its way into our times". San Francisco Chronicle. 

Each One Teach One: The Alvarado School Art Program dir. Valerie Soe and Ruth Asawa 2003 23 min.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]