Discipline: Visual Art

Miyoko Ito

Discipline: Visual Art
MacDowell Fellowships: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981

Miyoko Ito (1918–1983) was an American artist known for her watercolor and abstract oil paintings and prints. Ito was part of an informal group of like-minded, but visually diverse Chicago painters, self-named the "Allusive Abstractionists" and formed in 1981. The group, which also included William Conger, Richard Loving, and Frank Piatek, was formed to spark dialogue and make space for a wider conception of abstraction that included more subjective, metaphorical work. Though tangentially involved with the Chicago Imagists, Ito's own style diverged and synthesized cubism and surrealism. Ito was born in Berkeley, CA, but returned to Japan with her family in 1923 to receive a traditional Japanese art education and escape discrimination. Five years later, the Itos returned to California, where Miyoko went to the University of California, Berkeley and studied art. There, she was exposed to the ideas of the School of Paris, Hans Hofman, and cubism, all of which influenced her later work. Though imprisoned in the American concentration camps at Topaz during World War II, Ito was granted her diploma. After her release, she studied at Smith College and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977.

Portrait by Bernice B. Perry



Miyoko Ito worked in the Mixter studio.

Built in 1927–1930, the Florence Kilpatrick Mixter Studio was funded by its namesake and designed by the architect F. Winsor, Jr., who also designed MacDowell's original Savidge Library in 1925. Mixter Studio, solidly built of yellow and grey-hued granite, once had sweeping views of Pack Monadnock to the east. The lush forest has now grown…

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