Three Important, Unknown Men, 2015

Paired with two deaccessioned items from the Milwaukee County Historical Society (a small pin and ceramic portrait), is an image of my maternal grandfather, Albert Kazuo Kimura.  In the early 1900’s, at the age of 16, he left Hawaii for Chicago with the dream of becoming a lawyer. He worked as a houseboy while attending Hyde Park High School, graduated from the University of Toledo, and then earned a law degree from Northwestern University. Only then did he return to his native Hawaii, after 10 years on the mainland.

He never passed his bar exam in the state of Hawaii, despite the quality of his law education. His dream was never fulfilled, and he worked in a variety of professions, ran for local political positions, and owned both a small store and restaurant.