World-renowned American artist and distinguished UC Berkeley professor, Chiura Obata (1885-1975), is considered by many today one of the foremost California landscape painters of the 20th century.
His seminal work depicting the High Sierra was created nearly 100 years ago in 1927 and was captured vividly in the book Obata's Yosemite. Obata's art and his philosophy of gratitude and reverence to "Dai Shizen"-- Great Nature -- continues to resonate with admirers both new and old.
As people today search for inspiration and healing as stewards of our planet, a fresh look at Obata's art and life affords lessons for everyone. "Paintings must give to others the kinds of feeling about Nature that Nature gives us. If we pass this along, not just to art lovers but to everybody, our friends, our community, our country, it is the best possible promise for peace in the future."
Obata’s granddaughter, Kimi Hill, has consulted on numerous books and exhibitions about her grandfather, including a recent retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. As family historian Hill also edited the book Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata’s Art of the Internment, which tells the story of the Obata family, one of among the thousands of Japanese Americans stripped of their homes and livelihoods and incarcerated during WWII.