Online Exhibition


February 25 – April 4, 2021

The Art of Survival: Enduring the Turmoil of Tule Lake is an exhibit probing the complexity of the Japanese American confinement site in Tule Lake – the largest designated segregation center ruled under martial law. There are stories of sorrow and resilience, courage and fear, loneliness and solidarity. Through Hiroshi Watanabe’s poignant photographs of artifacts, we are able to get a sense of the experience of those who were unjustly confined. The accompanying panels provide historical context and a window into the layered complexity of the events that took place at Tule Lake.

The Art of Survival is supported in part by a Preservation of Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. This exhibit has been made in cooperation with the Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Art of Survival is a traveling exhibition toured by Exhibit Envoy.


Right: Stewart, Francis, Tula Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California. A view showing the artistic way in which the evacuees decorate the exterior of the barracks to make them more homelike. Deportment of the Interior, War Relocation Authority. 11/03/1942. NARA ID: 536360 – Courtesy of the National Archives.

Left: Lee, Russell, Los Angeles, California. The evacuation of Japanese-Americans from West coast areas under United States Army war emergency order. Japanese try to sell their belongings. Form Security Administration / Office of War Information, (Library of Congress) 4/1942. Reproduction Number: LC-USF34-072258-D – Courtesy of the Library of Congress.