CHSA's Purchase of Artist Jake Lee Paintings

HELP BRING ARTIST JAKE LEE'S HISTORIC & STUNNING PAINTINGS BACK TO THE COMMUNITY 

In 1959, the renowned Chinese American artist Jake Lee created a series of 12 large paintings depicting scenes from early Chinese American history, life and culture.  The Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) currently owns 8 of the paintings (some pictured above).  

CHSA is launching this GoFundMe campaign to fund the purchase of the remaining 4 paintings (pictured below).  

Please help CHSA reunite this stunning collection of historically important paintings.

According to the New York Times:  
     The works are notable for their rare depictions of Chinese American history.

The 12 paintings were originally commissioned by the glamourous Kan’s Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Kan’s was one of the most famous restaurants in America, boasting a star-studded clientele and elegant service and décor. 

During the 1950-60s, celebrities and Hollywood stars  – including Ingrid Bergman, Joe DiMaggio, Danny Kaye, Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak, Walter Cronkite, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.  -- dined at Kan’s, surrounded by these Jake Lee paintings.

The New York Times wrote:
     The watercolors also evoke a glittering bygone Chinatown era because they were originally displayed in the Gum Shan Room of the restaurant, a storied hot spot frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Herb Caen, the longtime newspaper columnist.

Stanford University historian Gordon Chang has written:
     We have few artists in our history who have painted about the history of Chinese-Americans, and Jake Lee really stands out.

CHSA is looking forward to bringing the paintings to you, digitally and through traditional displays and exhibits, and to inspire you to amplify our stories.

About the entire 12-painting series:
     The large (41 X 31 inches) paintings were striking, boldly composed and brightly colored, packed with elaborate detail and figures in expressive poses engaged in the various cultural and commercial activities of Chinese immigrants of the previous century. In one spectacular scene, New Year’s Day dragon dancers roared down a Chinatown street festooned with giant strands of popping firecrackers.

Let’s bring these paintings home!

Founded in 1963, CHSA is the oldest and largest historical society dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, contributions, and achievements of Chinese Americans in the United States.

THE 4 PAINTINGS




CURRENT COLLECTION OF JAKE LEE PAINTINGS AT CHSA MUSEUM IN SAN FRANCISCO



  • Doug Chan 
    • $1,500 
    • 16 mos
  • Alvin Lau 
    • $100 
    • 18 mos
  • Susan Glosser 
    • $40 
    • 19 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 20 mos
  • Alexander C Kwok 
    • $37 
    • 20 mos
See all

Organizer

Chinese Historical Society of America 
Organizer
San Francisco, CA