Lonely Planet Writer

Boldly go into the world of George Takei with a new exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum

You can soon boldly go into the world of George Takei with a visit to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

George Takei attends the Star Trek: The Star Fleet Academy Experience at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on June 30, 2016 in New York City.
George Takei attends the Star Trek: The Star Fleet Academy Experience at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on June 30, 2016 in New York City. Image by Noam Galai/WireImage

The Star Trek actor, civil rights activist and internet superstar has donated a huge collection of items that span more than 70 years. The artefacts will form the basis of a new exhibition called New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei due to open in March 2017. The museum promises it will be an interactive experience that will focus not just on the Takei’s life, but on the broader Japanese-American experience, including the WWII internment camps on the Pacific coast. Some of the items on display will include a sculpture made by Takei’s father while the family was incarcerated during World War II, campaign materials from his 1973 Los Angeles City Council bid, scripts, photographs and fan correspondence. Takei has been heavily involved with the Los Angeles museum since it was founded 30 years ago and even served on the board of trustees. In the past he has donated individual items to the museum but this collection will be the largest made by any individual to the centre.

“It is an honour and a privilege for the Japanese American National Museum to be the repository of the George Takei Collection,” said the museum’s interim president and CEO Ann Burroughs. “George is fearless in his stand against discrimination and injustice, and in his determination to take on the toughest social issues and protect the most vulnerable. He and his husband, Brad, have assiduously collected and saved important artefacts that bring to life his many remarkable achievements. We are proud to be the stewards of this collection and will ensure that they are protected and accessible in perpetuity.” The exhibit is due to open on 12 March and remain open until 20 August 2017. The collection will also be available for scholarly research after the museum has finished processing it.