American Muse

Roger Shimomura, American, born 1939



Lithograph on paper

Edition18 of 36

Overall: 28 × 27 in. (71.1 × 68.6 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Mrs. Harvey P. Hood W'18 Fund

© Roger Shimomura



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


On view


In this print, a barbeque grill, a symbol of Americana, and a rice cooker, a staple appliance in many Japanese homes, are positioned next to each other. This juxtaposition points to the ways hybridity, or cultural intermixing, can be expressed through our food. Many of Shimomura’s works deal with the Japanese American concentration camp experience, exploring questions of identity and belonging by combining Japanese cultural references and American pop-art imagery. Roger Shimomura was three years old in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to his and his family’s forced relocation from Seattle, Washington, to the Japanese concentration camp at Minidoka, Idaho. In the foreground of the print, a Japanese woman smiles proudly. Shimomura often draws on th diaries his grandmother Toku Shimomura kept during their time at Minidoka—she is, perhaps, the “American Muse” referenced in the title of this work.

Course History

ASCL 7.03,Asian-American Art and Architecture, Sujin Eom, Winter 2023

Asian Society, Culture, & Language 7.03, Asian-American Art and Architecture, Sujin Eom, Winter 2023

Sociology 61.01, Quantitative Social Science 30.17, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 33.05, Gender (In)equality, Kristin Smith, Spring 2023

Exhibition History

From the Field: Tracing Foodways Through Art, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 8-November 3, 2024.


Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, Washington; sold to present collection, 2022.

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