Jessie Arms Botke, “Cranes Under a Giant Fern,” c. 1943, oil and gold leaf on canvas, 40 x 32 inches. Botke was renowned for her stylized images of exotic birds and her use of gold leaf. The students may have selected this painting to gift to the high school because it is highly influenced by historical Japanese screen paintings. By 1943, nearly a third of the Gardena HS student body, the sons and daughters of local Japanese-American farmers, had been removed to U.S. internment camps. Selection of this painting may have been the remaining students’ way of paying tribute to the friends they missed, according to exhibition curator Susan M. Anderson. The painting was selected by the class of 1943. Credit: Image courtesy of GHS Art Collection, Inc.

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