Finding aid prepared by Shannon Salcido
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Archives & Special Collections
University Library, Room G-145
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3895

Descriptive Summary

Title: Fukuhara (Henry) Paint Out Collection
Dates: 1992-2011
Collection Number: [Accession no. xxxx OR "Consult repository."]
Creator: Fukuhara, Henry
Extent: 3 boxes, [2.5 linear ft]
Repository: California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections
Archives & Special Collection
University Library, Room G-145
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3013
Abstract: The focus of the Henry Fukuhara Collection is the art, life, and work of watercolor artist Henry Fukuhara. It includes photographs and notes from various workshops called "paint-outs," held at former Japanese American concentration camps. The collection also includes photographs from exhibits, hand painted correspondence, flyers, gallery information, books, magazines, news clippings, and DVD's.
Language: Collection material is in English

Administration Information


There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], FUKUHARA (HENRY) PAINT OUT COLLECTION, Courtesy of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills

Acquisition Information

The initial collection was donated by Mary Higuchi in 2011.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Shannon Salcido in 2011. All photos were left in original albums; other materials were arranged chronologically and by type of item.


Henry Fukuhara (April 25, 1913 – January 31, 2010) was a Japanese American abstract watercolor artist. He is best know for his watercolor paintings of Santa Monica, CA. and Manzanar, a World War II era Japanese American concentration camp where he and his family were imprisoned in 1942 and 1943. He began painting in his later life and quickly became a teacher and mentor to many modern artists and continues to influence watercolor artists today. Fukuhara has permanent collections at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Bernardino Museum of Art, and the Japanese American Museum of Art. He was also a member of the National Watercolor Society.
Fukuhara was born in Fruitland, California but grew up in Santa Monica. He attended Santa Monica High School where he first became aware of his artistic talents. After he graduated from high school he enrolled in Otis College of Art and Design, but was soon forced to drop out in order to help his family through the depression era. Aside from a few art shows in the 1930’s, Fukuhara did not pursue any sort of career in art. After the U.S. was attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Fukuhara and his family, like many other Japanese Americans, were forced into concentration camps. They arrived at Manzanar, in the California Owens Valley, in April of 1942. Fukuhara lived in a one room home with his wife, daughter, parents, and brother and sister-in-law. While at Manzanar, he worked in the drafting department as a grave surveyor. During this time art was a way for him pass the time. The family left Manzanar in 1943 when they agreed to leave the west coast. They soon settled in Long Island, New York, where they started a retail and wholesale flower growing business. Art was put on the backburner while the Fukuhara’s raised their family. Years later, with his children grown, Fukuhara took to painting.
It was during the 1970’s that Fukuhara began to study painting with a real focus. He attended workshops and studied with many prominent artists such as Edgar Whitney, Robert E. Wood, Rex Brandt, George Post, and Carl Molno. In 1987 Fukuhara moved back to his home town of Santa Monica CA. when he inherited his childhood home. He has gotten tremendous praise for his watercolors of Santa Monica which he created during this time. He also studied and taught art at Emeritus College in Santa Monica, a section of Santa Monica College dedicated to serving the older adult community.
Perhaps Fukuhara is most well know for his paintings of Manzanar and the “paint outs”, or workshops, he organized at the site of the concentration camp and its surrounding areas of Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, Independence, Keeler, and Mt. Whitney. The first Manzanar workshop took place in 1998 as a fundraiser to preserve the Manzanar site and he continued them yearly to help raise awareness about the concentration camps. Manzanar was not the only site for the “paint-outs,” others took place in Torrance and San Pedro, California and various other California areas. He went blind from glaucoma but continued to paint with the help of his friends who would visit him regularly. Fukuhara died in a nursing home in Orange County CA. in early 2010. Even after his death the Manzanar workshops continue with the help of his friend and fellow artist Al Setton

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs and notes from Henry Fukuhara’s Manzanar Workshops in which he painted for and instructed other painters on his watercolor techniques; the photos are from the 1999 through 2002 workshops. There are also photos from other workshops, or “paint outs” in places other than Manzanar such as Torrance, Santa Monica, and San Pedro California. The collection also contains photos from Fukuhara art exhibits. In addition to photos the collection includes hand painted correspondence between Fukuhara and his colleague Mary Higuchi, gallery flyers, DVD’s, and magazines, books, and news clipping in which Fukuhara’s works are featured.
All materials were donated in Spring 2011. Mary Higuchi donated all materials except the DVD which was donated by Watercolor West, and two books donated by ADC Fine Arts gallery. Photos in this collection have been kept in original order and in the albums in which they were donated. Most photos have no specifics written on them. This is a growing collection.


Arranged in two series:
  • Series I. Albums (1999-2004)
  • Series II. Papers, Books, and DVD (1992-2005)

Indexing Terms


Japanese Americans
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945 -- Pictorial Works
Japanese American Painters
Manzanar War Relocation Center
Manzanar War Relocation Center--1940-1950
Watercolor Painters
Watercolor Painting
Watercolor Painting, Abstract
Watercolor Painting, American

Personal Names

Fukuhara, Henry

Geographic Names

Alabama Hills (Calif.)
Independence (Calif.)
Lone Pine (Calif.)
Manzanar (Calif.)
San Pedro (Los Angeles, California)
Torrance (Calif.)

Container List


Series 1. Albums, 1999-2004

Physical Description: two linear feet, [2 boxes]

Scope and Content Note

This series contains nine photo albums. They include photos from the Manzanar watercolor workshops, paint-outs at Pt. Fermin park in San Pedro, CA. and Madrona Marsh in Torrance CA. and events at Emeritus College and The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. The photos are of Fukuhara painting, many of his paintings, and attendees at the workshops and paint-outs, there are also various photos of the landscape of the areas
Box 1, Folder 1

“Watercolor Workshops by Henry Fukuhara”, May 1999

Box 1, Folder 2

“Alabama Hills, Manzanar, Keeler: A Watercolor Workshop With Henry Fukuhara” May 2001

Box 1, Folder 3

“Fukuhara Memories” June-Aug. 2001

Box 1, Folder 4

“Henry Fukuhara” Oct. 2001- Aug. 2002

Box 1, Folder 5

“Manzanar 2002 Watercolor Workshop With Henry Fukuhara” Vol. 5, Book 1 May 2002

Box 1, Folder 6

“Manzanar 2002 Watercolor Workshop With Henry Fukuhara” Vol. 5, Book 2 May 2002

Box 2, Folder 7

“Manzanar 2000” May 2000

Box 2, Folder 8

“Henry Fukuhara 2002-2003” 2002-2003

Box 2, Folder 9

“Manzanar 2004” 2004


Series 2. Papers, Books, DVD 1992-2005

Physical Description: one half linear foot, [1 boxes]

Scope and Content Note

This series contains various personal correspondences from Fukuhara to Mary Higuchi, most of which is hand painted by Fukuhara. There are also miscellaneous papers and flyers having to do with paint-outs or gallery shows. Also included are magazines, newspaper clippings, and books featuring Fukuhara’s works, and booklets and a DVD from the 2005 Manzanar workshop.
Box 3, Folder 1

Correspondence with Mary Higuchi 1992-2002

Box 3, Folder 2

Correspondence with Mary Higuchi 2002-2004

Box 3, Folder 3

Misc. magazines/news clippings featuring artwork 1992-2004

Box 3, Folder 4

Booklets on Manzanar and painting 2010-2011

Box 3, Folder 5

Misc. photos, flyers, notes no dates

Box 3, Folder 6

Books featuring artwork 1996

Box 3, Folder 7

“8th Annual Henry Fukuhara Watercolor Workshop Alabama Hills-Manzanar April 30 and May 1, 2005” DVD 2005