A new exhibition exploring the life and career of pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon George Takei (ATU, '59 Architecture) will be open at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles from March 12th through August 20th.
New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei creates a portrait of a unique individual while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America. The exhibition features numerous never-before-seen personal items through which visitors will learn, not just about Takei, but also about the constantly evolving fabric of America’s cultural identity, political outlook, social mores, and the media landscape.
In September 2016, Takei and his husband, Brad Takei, donated a treasure trove of materials from his life to the museum. A selection of these items serves as the foundation for the New Frontiers exhibit. Included in the exhibit are photographs, correspondence, scripts, campaign materials from his 1973 Los Angeles City Council bid, and one-of-a-kind artworks made by his legions of fans. Of special note are a sculpture made by Takei’s father while the family was incarcerated during World War II at the concentration camp in Rohwer, Arkansas; the walking stick Takei carried on his ascent of Mount Fuji in Japan; the Olympic torch he carried in the lead-up to the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles; photos of the wedding of George and Brad Takei; and the key to the city of Roanoke, Virginia. Takei traveled to Roanoke in 2016 to meet with its Mayor, David Bowers, after Bowers cited the use of Japanese American concentration camps to justify suspending the relocation of Syrian refugees to the city.
The George & Brad Takei Collection is the Japanese American National Museum’s largest collection about any one individual. Takei has been involved with the museum since its founding over thirty years ago. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and its Chair Emeritus, having served as Chair from 2000 to 2004. The volunteer center in the museum bears his name. The Japanese American National Museum presented Takei with its Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement and Public Service, the museum’s highest honor, in 2015.
Learn about the exhibit here.