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Grant number: FT-61774-14

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Leila Philip
College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA 01610-2395)

Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011): The Career of a Major Postwar Asian-American Artist

"The High Priestess of Clay" will be the first book-length scholarly examination of Toshiko Takaezu (1922- 2011), an important postwar Asian-American artist from Hawaii. My exploration of Takaezu's life and work is closely informed by scholarship on hybridity and performative identity,which examines artists with hyphenated identities that bridge multiple personal and cultural formations. Takaezu has occupied an ambiguous and fluid space between cultures, artistic traditions, and assigned gender roles: as Asian and American, as potter and sculptor, and as a woman who paid deference to traditional Japanese female culture but was also a pioneer artist who consistently identified with male forms of power. The essential paradoxes of Takaezu's life and her struggle to find ways to create and perform her ethnicity without becoming trapped within it make her a fascinating case study within the larger fields of postwar American Art and American cultural history.

Project fields:
American Studies; Art History and Criticism; Ethnic Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 7/1/2014