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Art Talk Live: Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Last Act

A figure poses in white makeup, a hat, and mask, which slips down and reveals his face, against a multicolored background.
Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Japanese, Last Act, 1949. Casein on paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus, 1981.210. © Estate of Yasuo Kuniyoshi/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Gallery Talk


Yasuo Kuniyoshi once proclaimed that “an artist’s drawings are his first words.” Having emigrated from Japan to the United States at the age of 16, Kuniyoshi relied upon drawing as his most expressive medium. Through drawing, he translated the anxiety, disillusionment, and alienation faced by Japanese émigrés in the aftermath of World War II into a uniquely personal and dynamic American modernist style.

Led by:
Elisa Germán, Emily Rauh Pulitzer Curatorial Fellow in Contemporary Drawings, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art

This talk is part of a series inspired by ReFrame, a museum-wide initiative to reimagine the function, role, and future of the university art museum. These talks examine difficult histories, foreground untold stories, and experiment with new approaches to the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, reflecting the concerns of our world today.

This talk will take place online via Zoom. The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

Please read these instructions on how to join a meeting on Zoom. For general questions about Art Talks, email

Art Talks Live are presented via Zoom every other Tuesday at 12:30pm (ET) and offer an up-close look at works from our collections with our team of curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students.

The Harvard Art Museums are committed to accessibility for all visitors. For anyone requiring accessibility accommodations for our programs, please contact us at at least 48 hours in advance.

The Harvard Art Museums are open to the public. Reservations are available but not required and can be made up to three weeks in advance. Please see the museum visit page for more information.