Chuzo Tamotzu

Year: 1888-1975

Born in Kagoshima Prefecture. After graduating from junior high school, he moved to Tokyo to study art with a private teacher while studying politics and economics at Senshu University.

In 1914, he left Japan on a cargo ship and traveled through Asia and Europe before arriving in New York in 1920. Tamotzu studied at the Art Students League and exhibited at the Society of Independent Artists from 1924 to 1938 and at the Salons of America from 1924 and 1927 to 1932. He exhibited in the exhibition of Japanese Art, sponsored by New York Shimpo in 1927, 1935 , and 1936, the Paintings by New York Chinese Japanese Artists in 1937, the 31st exhibition of the Municipal Art in 1938, the annual exhibitions of the American Artists’ Congress from 1936 to 1940,  An exhibition in Defense of World Democracy—Dedicated to peoples of Spain and China in December 1937. He was also a member of the An American Group, and from the 1930s onward, he exhibited works on anti-war themes, mainly at American Artists’ Congress exhibitions.

After the outbreak of the war he issued a statement of allegiance to the United States in the Committee of the Japanese Artists Resident in New York City. He was sent to Southeast Asia as a military painter for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the war. After the war, he moved to Santa Fe, where he died in 1975.

His works were also exhibited at “Half Century of Japanese Artists in New York, 1910′-1950′” at Azuma Gallery in 1977.

Reference: Half Century of Japanese Artists in New York, 1910′-1950′, (exhibition catalogue), Azuma Gallery(1977); Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art, Mural Homecoming Commemoration Hideo Noda and Chuzo Tamotzu,(exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Art, Kumamoto (1992); New York Shimpo; Nichibei Jiho.

The subject of this entry was featured in one of our digital exhibits, “Japanese Artists During the Prewar Period in New York City- Artistic Trace from the 1910s to the 1940s –”.

Added Date: 03/02/2024