Center Information

Yuko Nii

Yuko Nii

Yuko Nii, born 1942, painter, from Tokyo, Japan. Studied English and American literature at Aoyama Gakuin University. Scholarship student at Macalaster College St. Paul Minnesota, B.F.A 1965, Fellowship student at Pratt Institute Brooklyn New York, M.F.A 1968. Her work has been shown at numerous museums, galleries and universities in the U.S.A. and Japan, including one person shows at The Berkshire Museum, The Alternative Museum, Monique Knowlton Gallery, Haber Theodore Gallery, and Hansen Galleries (all of New York City), Vered International Gallery, Elaine Benson Gallery of Long Island, Fairleigh Dickenson University, James Madison University, the International Monetary Fund, and Ginza Kaiga-kan (Tokyo), etc., as well as many outstanding group shows including The Brooklyn Museum, The Bronx Museum, The Hudson River Museum, The Parish Museum, The Guild Hall, Kent State University, California State University, The World Trade Center, Lincoln Center, The United Nations General Assembly Building, etc.

Her works are included in many outstanding public and private collections including The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Berkshire Museum, The Alternative Museum, Equitable Assurance collection, Chase Manhattan Bank, Bankers Trust, Security Pacific Bank, N.L. Industries, The U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, Bonny Corp., The International Monetary Fund, Nihon Davis Standard Corp., and many more. Her work is included in a number of books, inlcuding LOOKING AT LANDSCAPES published by Criterion Press, and she has had many reviews including the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, the Village Voice, Soho Weekly News, The Berkshire Eagle, Rockland Westchester News, Easthampton Star, The Bridgehampton Sun, Art News Magazine, the Geijutsu Shincho Art Magazine and three major Japanese newspapers. She has appeared on several television programs here and in Japan. She was twice a Guest Artist at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs. She was a selecting member of the advisory panel for the Cultural Council Foundation of New York City for CAPS grants. In 1998 she was selected by Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden as one of Brooklyn's "Women of the Year" for her service to the community. Her personal friends include some of the most outstanding artists and designers of the 20th Century including the late Isamu Noguchi, Esteban Vicente, one of the world's greatest painters and Founder of the New York Studio School in the 1950's, Ken Noland, the well known color field painter, as well as Toshiko Takaezu the ceramics master, and Jack Lenore Larsen a world class designer, all of whom she considers "mentors." In late 1996 she founded the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in New York City's largest art community out of gratitude because she "felt a sense of obligation to give something to the artists who are now emerging, just as help and support was given to me when I most needed it." Over the course of the next year and one half, as acting Artistic Director, she put together some of the most outstanding shows and performances in New York City. Since the Center opened up, there have been 12 fine art exhibitions, many performances of music, dance, theater, a series of poetry readings, staged readings, art lectures, plus annual festivals of music, dance, film, theater, and international cultural and fashion shows. She also created an art club, the "Williamsburg Salon de Artists" for Brooklyn artists of the highest quality. All of this she has done with volunteer artists and business people from the community, a testament to her ability to attract people through her creative idea of the Center. As Yuko says, "I wanted the artists of Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Brooklyn to participate actively and see what great things can be achieved by people who work honestly together and with dedicated hard work ."

Here is what some people have said of her recently:

"I have known her for 20 years as a fine artist, friend & a very lively, active, and committed person who gets things going and gets them done." Esteban Vicente

"During 20 years of solid friendship, Yuko and I have worked on several projects together, building a bridge of the arts between Japan and the United States. She is a seriously hardworking, totally committed and great artist. Additionally she is also a free spirited, fun loving person with a great sense of humor! Because she is so well balanced and because of her creativity and energy, I have no doubt that the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center will be a great success!" Ken Noland

"I have known and worked with Yuko on various projects over the years and she is a person of great intelligence and integrity as well as a great artist." Robert Panza, Executive Director, Visual Artists and Galleries Association

"A remarkable person, dedicated to the art world and her fellow artists, as well as being a fine artist herself" Curtis Harnack, President, School of American Ballet

"A person of great ability and integrity as well as a fine artist." Shoji Sadao, Executive Director, The Isamu Noguchi Foundation

"An exceptionally gifted fine artist, a farseeing visionary...sincerely concerned about the well-being of the human race." Max Roach, Jazz Percussionist

"A clarity of Vision and mastery of technique so characteristic of the best Japanese artists." Stuart C, Henry, Director, The Berkshire Museum

"The work of Yuko Nii carries a feeling of intensity and personal poetry. Her landscapes are in fact a landscape of her inner self." Tamon Miki, Chief Curator, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

"Yuko Nii's giant contributions of energy, vision and generosity transformed almost overnight a disintegrating landmark building into a vital center for the arts in Williamsburg, an historic Brooklyn community that now enjoys the largest concentration of resident artists within the art capital of the world, New York City. Yuko's extraordinary achievement is itself a landmark for Brooklyn and marks her for recognition as a living treasure of Brooklyn and the nation!" Robin Radin, Harvard Law School, Program on International Financial Systems, Associate Director


Flux | Sand Harbors of the Ancient Planet | Dune of Erelong Highway
60 x 84 Oil. All original pieces by Yuko Nii

Yuko Nii Gallery


About the WAH Center

Founder's Statement
The Bridge, Our Bridge
Yuko Nii Bio
How to get to the WAH Center