Art Exchange Students
Fran Fergusson doesn’t exactly remember her father, Francis Daly, Ed.D.’47, talking about the massive art project he coordinated in partnership with Yukio Isaka, a Japanese school psychiatrist, between students in Japan and students in the United States just after World War II ended, but she always knew the collection existed.
“I remember going through the 600-plus drawings and paintings and noting, at that early age, the games that were depicted, the clothes, the wonderful colors,” says Fergusson, who recently donated the collection to Gutman Library. “Originally, as is documented in the materials I gave to Harvard, it was to be an exchange of drawings from Japanese and American students. The papers are silent on whether or not American student drawings were sent to Japan. And, as far as I know, there was no exhibition in the United States until now.”
Rebecca Martin, the collections strategist and scholarly communications librarian at Gutman, says the collection is the library’s first featuring art. “It provides us with an innovative chance to incorporate student artwork into teaching, learning, and research opportunities at HGSE.”
Fergusson, a former president at Vassar College, says her father loved Japanese culture and was proud of his connection to the country, even during a period in U.S. history when anti-Japanese sentiment loomed large. She says he was also proud to have gone to Harvard, first as an undergraduate when he had to work his way through college as a “newsie” with United Press International, and then later getting his doctorate at the Ed School. That’s why she says donating the art collection to Gutman, along with the rest of her father’s papers, was easy.
“My father would have been so proud and happy to know that his papers are there,” she says. “I’m thoroughly delighted that his papers and the artwork have found such a good home.”
Left (building with weather vane): Age: 16; Girl; School: Kyoto Sigeno Junior High School; City, Prefecture: Kyoto; Media: watercolor.
Right (countryside scene with house): Grade: 6; Girl; School: Chohoji Primary School; Prefecture: Kyoto; Media: unknown wet media [Derivative/copy of a famous Japanese painting]
Left (paddle with yellow/wooden background): Age: 10; Girl; School: Kohoku Primary School; City, Prefecture: Yokohama, Kanagawa; Media: wooden paddle with fabric embroidery (Hagoita)
Center (origami): Age: 7; Male; School: Miyagaya Elementary School; City, Province: Yokohama, Kanagawa; Media: origami
Right (self-portrait, brown coat): Age: 8; Girl; School: Hiranuma Primary School; City, Prefecture: Yokohama, Kanagawa; Media: pastel drawing
Left (paddle): Age: 12; Girl; School: Kohoku Primary School; City, Prefecture: Yokohama, Kanagawa; Media: painted wooden paddle (Hagoita)
Right (self-portrait, embroidery): Age: 13; Sex: School: Negisi Junior High School; City, Prefecture: Yokohama, Kanagawa; Media: fabric embroidery
The exhibit, From Crayons to Calligraphy: An Exhibition of Japanese Student Artwork, 1949–1951, opened in Gutman in mid-May in the Special Collections room.