The genesis of the art school began in Tanforan, a racetrack just outside of San Francisco, where over 8000 people of Japanese descent were confined until Topaz was built. Many of the internees were living in horse stalls, turned into makeshift barracks with just a hurried whitewash on the walls and linoleum over the manure-covered floors.

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A painting of a farmer overlooking the Topaz Camp
Painting of the Topaz Barracks in snow at night
Painting of the Utah desert and distant mountains
Painting of mountains, clouds, and sky.
Drawing of a mother and crying child.
Painting of a dog among the Topaz Camp barracks
Drawing of bustling people with bedrolls and possessions
Painting of men resting at work with shovels and pick axes.
Painting of the Utah desert with mountains in the distance
A sketch of people outside the Topaz Barracks
Painting of an older couple looking toward the desert from the Topaz Camp
Painting of the Utah Desert in early summer
Painting of an elderly man looking over Topaz Camp in the snow
Topaz Museum exterior

Photo: Brian Buroker

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