Tomizo “Thomas” Nagai

Year: 1886-1966

Born in Gunma, Japan, he studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League from 1924 to 1927.

He exhibited at the Society of Independent Artists exhibitions from 1928 to 1930 and 1932, 1934 to 1937, Salons of America from 1929 to 1931, the exhibition of Japanese Art, sponsored by New York Shimpo in 1935 and 1936, the Paintings by New York Chinese- Japanese Artists in 1937, and the 31st exhibition of the Municipal Art in 1938. At the WPA, he produced watercolors. From 1937 to 1940, he also participated in the annual exhibitions of the American Artists’ Congress.

Reference: Masayuki Okabe, The Mysterious World of Thomas Nagai: Discovering the Painters of the American Scene in the 1920s and 1930s, (exhibition catalogue), The Dai-ichi Seimei Life Insurance Company (1996).

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