Asian Pacific American History, Art, and Culture in 101 Objects by Theodore S. Gonzalves

Asian Pacific American History, Art, and Culture in 101 Objects by Theodore S. Gonzalves
English | 2023 | History

A rich and compelling introduction to the history of Asian Pacific American communities as told through 101 objects, from a fortune cookie baking mold to the debut Ms. Marvel comic featuring Kamala Khan


Smithsonian Asian Pacific American History, Art, and Culture in 101 Objects invites readers to experience both well-known and untold stories through influential, controversial, and meaningful objects. Thematic chapters explore complex history and shared experiences: navigation, intersections, labor, innovation, belonging, tragedy, resistance and solidarity, community, service, memory, and joy.

The book features vibrant full-color illustrations of objects that embody and engage with Asian Pacific American issues, including the immigrant experience, the importance of media representation, what history gets officially documented vs. what does not, and so much more. Those objects include:

• Name tag for Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka
• Photograph of Hollywood actress Anna May Wong
• Hello Kitty bento box
• Stella Abrera’sballet shoes, pancaked to match her skin color
• Caravan’s Thailand: Songs for Life album
• Sewing kit of internment camp survivor May Ishimoto
• Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii
• The Devanagari typographical font patented by Hari Govind Govil

Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in the United States and include approximately 50 distinct ethnic groups, but their stories and experiences have often been sidelined or stereotyped. This spirited and beautifully illustrated book offers a vital window into the triumphs and tragedies, strength and ingenuity, and traditions and cultural identities of these communities. Smithsonian Asian Pacific American History, Art, and Culture in 101 Objects is a crucial and celebratory read.

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