The New Wing Luke Museum Opening

image-of-wing-luke-museum-opening-courtesy-of-sea-turtle.From its humble beginnings in a converted garage, the Wing Luke Asian Museum once again opened its doors to the public on May 31, 2008 as a newly expanded 60,000 square foot facility. It is located at 719 South King Street in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

As the nation’s only pan–Asian Pacific American museum, WLAM engages the Asian Pacific American communities and the public in exploring issues related to the culture, art, and history of Asian Pacific Americans. The new Wing Luke Asian Museum is offering expanded programs and enhanced breadth and depth of Museum collections. WLAM will undoubtedly become an economic hub in the heart of the Chinatown-International District.

Before you visit the grand new museum that features so many unique exhibits, galleries, collections, and facilities such as the Governor Gary Locke Library and Community Heritage Center, you may want to check out and read some books to enhance your visits:

They Painted from their Hearts: Pioneer Asian American Artists edited by Mayumi Tsutakawa. Directory of Asian American artists in Washington and Oregon/Archives of American Art/Smithsonia Institution. This book was published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Sept.9, 1994- Jan.15, 1995.

A Different Battle: Stories of Asian Pacific American Veterans edited by Carina A. del Rosario; contemporary photographs by Dean Wong. The book tells about stories of Asian Pacific American veterans.

The Textiles of Asia, from the Costume and Textile Study Center of the University of Washington [assembled by Diane Sugimura] by Diane Sugimura. The exhibit was held at the Wing Luke Memorial Museum, June 2-Aug. 18, 1974.

Executive Order 9066: 50 Years Before and 50 Years after: A History of Japanese American in Seattle by David Takami. This publication accompanies the exhibit by the same name showing at the Wing Luke Asian Museum from February 19 to August 31, 1992.

Seattle’s International District: the Making of Pan-Asian American Community by Doug Chin. A thorough guide to the history and people of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

Don’t forget to also visit the beautiful International District/Chinatown Branch to browse its unique Asian languages collections when you are in the Chinatown International District.

                                                                 ~ Duan

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2 Responses to The New Wing Luke Museum Opening

  1. Anne says:

    Thank you for reminding me that the museum is now open! I’d like to mention one more book on an Asian American theme: Looking Like the Enemy by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald. This autobiographical story follow’s the author’s family from a peaceful existence on their Vashon Island strawberry farm to an internment camp and beyond. I loved this book for talking about a very painful period in history in a way that is both honest and inspiring. I know my public education largely glossed over the whole issue of Japanese internment, leaving it to authors like Ms. Gruenewald and institutions like Wing Luke to help understand it all. I’m very grateful to both.

  2. Chris H. says:

    I will be sure to check out the new museum this summer, and the books that are listed!

    Other good reads:
    Wherever I Go, I Will Always Be a Loyal American: Schooling Seattle’s Japanese Americans During World War II by Yoon K. Pak

    The Burning Horse: The Japanese American Experience in the Yakima Valley by Thomas H. Heuterman

    Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese-American Community by David Neiwert

    Okay, I am not an expert. I sometimes get into a certain subject and will check out several books in the library on the same subject. I read these books after reading the article about how Ms. Pak stumbled on the archives of the letters sent by interned students to their Washington School teacher. She apparently transposed a number on a request at the University of Washington’s library records (she was a graduate student). The letters called to her as an American of Korean heritage to bring their stories to light. The resulting book is wonderful.

    The “Burning Horse book is because I first learned of the Japanese Internment from my father. He grew up in Yakima, and his best friend was Nisei. When I was in 7th grade my father told us the story of how his best friend was sent away as a teenager by our own government, and he cried. That was the first time I ever saw my Army officer father ever cry openly. So I read the book to understand more of what was happening in the time and place my father was living (yeah, it is a more scholarly book).

    Then I read “Strawberry Days” because I do sometimes read Mr. Neiwert’s blog (Orcinius). It is a very interesting history of Bellevue before the bridges were built. If you go to Bellevue’s City Hall and check out the sculpture of the tree roots, you will look at it with a very different light! (oh, and his other book on militias, “In God’s Country” is very good!)

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