Lives of Japanese Americans in Southern Colorado Celebrated at New El Pueblo History Museum Exhibition
PUEBLO— April 11, 2023 — History Colorado’s El Pueblo History Museum announces its newest exhibition which illustrates the diverse cultures and history of Southern Colorado from the perspective of a Japanese American photographer. Opening on April 28, Through the Lens: The Photography of Frank Muramoto explores the world of a Japanese-born professional photographer who operated his own studio in Pueblo, Colorado, and captured everyday life from a broad range of communities, industries and landscapes for more than four decades from 1915 to 1958.
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Featuring a curated collection of approximately three dozen of Muramoto’s photographs – including photos of himself, his family, and the community he lived in – Through the Lens: The Photography of Frank Muramoto is a rare opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of southern Colorado through the eyes of a Japanese American photographer who operated a business during a time when people of Japanese ancestry, and others, were oppressed.
As he was an early adopter of color film, Through the Lens: The Photography of Frank Muramoto also includes a viewing station where visitors can see videos taken by Muramoto and hear excerpts from an oral history of Dave Muramoto, the photographer's grandson.
Produced in partnership with the Pueblo City-County Library District, the Through the Lens exhibition is part of a larger collection maintained by the Pueblo County Historical Society that provides an intimate glimpse into the East Asian community of Southern Colorado through candid moments from everyday life.
The Japanese community of Colorado, which numbered some 100 households in Pueblo alone in Muramoto’s time, and the photographer's personal life is also explored in a series of labels within the exhibition.
“This exhibition is a chance to explore an undertold story of immigration to Colorado,” said Devin Flores, History Colorado’s digital content specialist. “Through Muramoto’s lens, the audience gets a unique perspective on the diverse people, communities, cultures, and landscapes of southern Colorado, as seen by a first-generation immigrant.”
Through the Lens: The Photography of Frank Muramoto opens at El Pueblo History Museum on April 28 in the free Community Gallery. El Pueblo History Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
About El Pueblo History Museum
History Colorado’s El Pueblo History Museum is located at 301 N. Union Avenue in the heart of the city of Pueblo, part of the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk District and the Pueblo Creative Corridor. The museum stands on the site of the original El Pueblo trading post, constructed in 1842. The museum site features beautiful galleries, a gift shop, bookstore, gardens, an active archaeological dig, and a recreation of the 1842 adobe trading post. Current exhibits include Borderlands of Southern Colorado, Steel City: 1980-2004, and You Should’ve Seen It: Pueblo’s Mineral Palace.
El Pueblo History Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.ElPuebloHistoryMuseum.org or call 719-583-0453.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado