Confirmed victory
Petitioning Partner + Co-Director, 20th/21st C. Design Dept. at Rago Arts David Rago and 2 others

Negotiate in good faith with the Japanese American community to preserve American concentration camp artifacts

*UPDATED 5/1/15*

Our collective voices have accomplished the immediate goal of removing Lots 1232-1255 of Japanese American historic artifacts from the auction block. But the longer-term goal of acquiring the collection and finding proper homes for the items is still unresolved. A consortium of institutions is organizing to address the questions of who will acquire and negotiate the most appropriate place for these artifacts. Thus far, this group includes the Smithsonian, the Japanese American National Museum, the National Park Service Office of Cultural Resources, and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. Other interested institutions can contact the consortium through our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/japaneseamericanhistorynotforsale?fref=ts) or via email: JAHistoryNOT4SALE@gmail.com. Through this consortium of key organizations, the Japanese American community can exercise some control to ensure our heritage is dealt with fairly and with dignity. Please sign and share this petition to show your support for good faith negotiations to occur for the future of the Eaton collection. ONE VOICE, ONE COMMUNITY! Ganbatte!  #JAHistoryNOT4Sale

*UPDATED 4/16/15*
Thanks to the combined community elements — the threat of a lawsuit, the help of our most-famous Japanese American, George Takei, and the united voices of thousands of Japanese American individuals and supporters who expressed outrage and signed this petition, posted to Facebook and tweeted out messages, and the media attention, we achieved our goal --- the Japanese American lots were pulled from the Rago auction block, thus delaying sale of the Eaton collection and giving us time to explore alternatives. Your advocacy helped reclaim our own story and make this is a proud moment for us all. Please sign this petition to support good faith negotiations to occur for the future of the Eaton collection.
Ganbatte!

*ORIGINAL PETITION*

This Friday, April 17, Rago Arts will auction off 450 historical crafts and artifacts made by Japanese Americans confined in 10 WWII concentration camps.

These items were given -- not sold -- to the original collector, Allen Eaton, because he wanted to display them in an exhibition that would help tell the story of the  incarceration of 120,000 innocent people, more than half of them children.  It is a betrayal of those imprisoned people who thought their gifts would be used to educate, not be sold to the highest bidder in a national auction, pitting families against museums against private collectors.  

Eaton opposed the incarceration and this sale goes against his intent for a public exhibition that received official support.

Please sign this petition to ask Rago Arts to remove Lots 1232-1255 and our cultural patrimony from the auction block. These items were not meant to be viewed in the privacy of a collector's home and that a price tag should not be put on our cultural property. 

Satsuki Ina, Ph.D.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Partner + Co-Director, 20th/21st C. Design Dept. at Rago Arts
    David Rago
  • Partner + Co-Director, 20th/21st C. Design Dept. at Rago Arts
    Suzanne Perrault
  • Managing Partner at Rago Arts
    Miriam Tucker


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