What We Keep: The Objects of Immigrants to America – Wine Reception & Artist’s Talk

Goodbye to Baba - work by Jane ChuThe exhibition, What We Keep: The Objects of Immigrants to America, is an installation of fifteen drawings by artist, Jane Chu. The exhibition centers upon her mother’s journey out of China during the Chinese Revolution of 1949. In addition to her mother’s journey, Chu tells a series of stories about individuals who have immigrated to the United States from all over the world, told through their own keepsake memorabilia. Each story includes illustrations of their keepsake objects. “Sometimes at first, we may not have enough information to support those who have newly arrived in the United States,” says Chu. “But if we ask them to identify a personal object that is meaningful to them, then their stories unfold, and we see their amazing personal qualities emerge. We understand how the strength and ingenuity of their lives contribute to society.” More of Chu’s stories and illustrations can be found in Smithsonian Folklife Magazine.

Jane Chu is a visual artist, living in New York, and served as the eleventh chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts (2014-2018). She is a graduate of the SMU Meadows School of the Arts.


Chu will speak at two events during the opening of this exhibition. Both events are open to the public. Parking permits available through the RSVP.

“Keepsake Objects: The Contributions of Immigrants to America” – Lunch and Talk with Jane Chu on September 6, 12 – 1 pm, Taubman Atrium, Owen Arts Center, SMU. Light lunch provided. RSVP requested.

Wine Reception & Artist’s Talk – September 7, 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Hamon Arts Library Reading Room
RSVP requested. 

What We Keep: The Objects of Immigrants to America, September 7 – December 15, 2023 in the Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library. More information about the exhibition, directions and parking.

Generous support provided by Meadows School of the Arts, SMU Libraries, and Friends of SMU Libraries.