Jon Lehmann HIST 02411/22/2001 Wing Luke Asian Museum Website The Wing Luke Asian Museum is a multicultural museum housing art, film, and other records of the Northwest Asian Pacific culture. The Museum states that it is dedicated to 'the collection, preservation, and display of Asian Pacific American culture, history and art.' . The Museum was founded 1967, in honor of the first Asian pacific American to be elected to the Seattle council (in 1962). Wing Luke was killed in a plane crash just 3 years later, and the community rallied together to establish the Wing Luke Museum. The museum is run mainly on community support and independent donation, which it has done since its establishment. The exhibits and programs The Wing Luke puts on are made by a collaboration of museum professionals and dedicated community members.
This community support is really what drives the Wing Luke museum and makes it special. The website of the Wing Luke Asian Museum [ web ] uses a very simple and straightforward layout to help it's visitors find the information they need. The website also comes through with a lots of information about the museum, and it's community. Adding to all this is an online version of the Wing Luke Asian Museum's monthly newsletter, which is packed with tons of news and information about upcoming exhibits and projects being put on by the Wing Luke. The Online newsletter is archived regularly, and even though it is a newsletter for members, they let anyone download and read up on current happenings. The Wing Luke website also contains many external links to a wide array of Topics, including information on local art and history resources, and resources for Asian Pacific Americans, Japanese Americans, Korean Americans, Chinese Americans, and Filipino Americans as well.
The web page also links to many other Seattle area museums, which is a nice addition. Other Museums dealing with Asian Pacific American issues are also linked to, rounding out the resource set. The Wing Luke web page uses a simple text on background layout, providing quick download times, and fast refresh rates. However, though serving to give the web page accessibility to a vast majority of web surfers, the web page has a very dated look to it, which really takes away from the overall professionalism of the website.
The color scheme is generally black on white, with red hyperlinks. This clean look provides maximum text legibility, while not distracting the reader. The font face stays consistent, and is very easily readable. The page is divided into Sections of 'Home', 'New!' , 'Information', 'Calendar', 'Exhibitions', 'Membership', 'Collections', Products, Newsletter, News Releases, 'Links, and 'Contact'. These categories are easy to understand, and navigate. The Wing Luke Web page utilizes uses text links (again cutting down download times) on the left side of the page, and then repeats the text links on the bottom of the page.
The links on the bottom are a nice addition, as it keeps you from having to scroll back up to the top manually. However, It probably would have been a wiser choice to use frames, as that would get rid of the whole problem of scrolling up, and, the smaller second HTML page would be easier for any browser to cache, thus speeding the page up again. Unfortunately, many of the links on the bottom of the page are broken, as the web designer pointed to local files on his / her computer, instead of pointing to the copy of the file on the web server. Surprisingly, the web page contains very little in the way of on-site content about the Asian Pacific American struggle, but it does contain lot of relevant information about the museum itself, which is its real job anyway. The majority of the information about Asian Pacific Americans is located in external links to other web pages. The Wing Luke web page really serves more as an advertisement for the museum, with helpful things like directions, bus routes, hours, and admission rates.
Overall, the web page serves as a useful tool for information about the museum, but unfortunately, it contains very little on-website educational information about the history of the Asian Pacific immigration to the Pacific Northwest. My only problems with the site are some rather simple to fix HTML errors, and I would really like to see more information about other exhibits, or even something about some of the museum's many contributors. The web page has a listing for a few of the permanent exhibits at the museum site, including the museum's main display, One Song, Many Voices: The Asian Pacific Experience, and Densho: The Japanese Legacy Project. The permanent centerpiece of the Wing Luke, One Song, Many Voices showcases the 200 year history of the immigration of Asian and pacific islanders to Washington state. The exhibit documents the immigration from the first Hawaiian settlers to the new Southeast Asian refugees.
The exhibit encompasses as many as 10 Asian Pacific American groups, including Cambodians, Koreans, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Laotians, Pacific Islanders, South Asians, Southeast Asian hill tribes and Vietnamese. The display is said the be the only one of its kind in the nation, because it integrates so many different experiences from these groups into a singular story of the determination, honor, and sacrifice of Asian Pacific Americans. The One Song, Many Voices exhibit includes pictures and items belonging to many early local businesses, like restaurants, barber shops, and laundries. There are photos of local Asian sports teams, clothing, and festivals. Also housed are musical instruments, clothing and eating traditions. Also, they have a scale model of the Puyallup assembly center, where thousands of Seattle born citizens were imprisoned during the Japanese Internment that occurred during the Second World War.
The Exhibit titled 'Densho: The Japanese Legacy Project' is a large interactive multimedia archive, housing artifacts from local japanese before, during, and after WWII. The Densho project interviews and films individuals, and has them tell stories of t hier parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. This is such an important project, to preserve the japanese american history so that future generations can share the history of t hier ancestors and people. The Densho Project's first hand accounts bring the history to a new generation as told by the people who were actually around to witness it. As an addition to the digital tape library, the Densho Project has digital copies of over a thousand photographs, documents, and letters. All of this is available from any computer capable of connecting to the internet.
The Densho Project is a highly capable database, with full search capabilities. What this means, is that you could watch someone's interview, and then search for old baseball team pictures of them, or even old love letters. All this combines into a very powerful tool for learning about the people who were there, and effected by the internment, the war, and just life in the Pacific Northwest. The archive captures a valuable piece of history, and safeguards it against being lost forever. The creators of the Densho Project chose to focus it toward two different viewer groups: scholars and educators. For the scholar they have an gigantic digital storehouse of information, preserving stories from community elders.
They try to record information that isn't currently available, focus on viewpoints that aren't given a chance to be heard very often. For teachers, the stories in the Archive offer a more personal way to get t hier students to think about civil rights issues, discrimination, american history, immigration, cultural ideals, and it also helps to render the students more objective, by showing them that our country has not always been the land of opportunity that it has been portrayed. The Wing Luke Museum is a one of a kind tool and resource, providing a viewpoint on the Asian Pacific community, and helping keep the stories of the culture alive. While it serves as a powerful source of information, it is personal enough to remain access able to all ages and backgrounds, helping everyone to realize that all people share the same worries, fears, and weaknesses, regardless of race.
The Wing Luke Asian Museum is a unique insight into the lives and history of some of our city's oldest residents, providing a wealth of of greatly overlooked and somewhat under publicized history concerning people of asian decent in the Pacific Northwest.