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Oklahoma City library asks for help identifying portraits

Teizo Yamagishi poses with one of the mystery portraits.
Vicki Shigekuni Wong
Metropolitan Public Library System
Teizo Yamagishi poses with one of the mystery portraits.

The Metro Library in Oklahoma City is hoping to solve a mystery.

Recently family of late Oklahoma City artist Teizo Yamagishi contacted the library system about some portraits discovered in storage.

Special Collections Librarian Judie Matthews says the portraits look to be from a particular decade.

"Judging from the fashion and the styling I'm thinking the majority are from the 1950s and some in the 1960s."

Yamagishi was born in Japan around 1900 and moved to Seattle for work to learn more about photography. During World War II, he and his family were sent to a Japanese American detention camp in Idaho. Later Yamagishi set up a photo business in Oklahoma City.

Matthews says she hopes people will take a peek at the discovered portraits supposedly of then-prominent Oklahomans and see if anyone looks familiar.

"We've created a website with scans of these photos hoping the public can take a look and see if they recognize a family member or an old family friend or maybe even themselves in one of these photos."

See the portraits at metrolibrary.org/tacy.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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