People in history

 

Who

 

When

 

What  






 Lillian Oppenheimer

USA

 



1898 - 1992
 
 Discovered the flapping bird and was fascinated.
From 1950 to 1960 she started the origami movement in USA.

From 1951 she corresponded with Robert Harbin, Gershon Legman, Ligia Montoya, and Akira Yoshizawa.
 In 1958 she opened the origami centre with 25 people in the class and published a newsletter " The Origamian ". In 1959 she founded the Friends of The 
Origami Centre of America
1994  That became the current OrigamiUSA in New York.
 She died at the age of 94.

Her publications included:-
Folding paper puppets    (1962)
Folding paper toys          (1963)
Folding paper Masks      (1965)



Cai Lun

China

AD 105


Invented Paper

......................Paper Pandas and Jumping Frogs by Florence Temko 1986 (China Books,USA)






 
Sadako Sasaki


Japan







 
1943 - 1955

 
The Atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima Aug 6, 1945 when she was 2 years old.

At 11, Sadako was the fastest runner in her class. She collapsed in a race and was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer of the blood.

She tried to fold a thousand cranes hoping that her wish for world peace could be granted. By the time she died she had folded 644 cranes. Her friends folded the remaining cranes for her funeral. Afterwards they formed a club and began raising money for a monument.

The Peace monument was unveiled in Hiroshima Park 1958. Every year people from all over the world send paper cranes to the Park on August 6th --- the Peace Day.




 
 
 
 
 Florence  Temko
 
 
San Diego, California, USA
 
 
 
 
1921 – 2009  
An artist, a lady origami master - A founder of Origami USA and a friend of  Lillian Oppenheimer.  
She was born in London at 1921.
 
Well respected as one of the 'origami pioneers' since the paper folding was introduced into the western world.
Florence  Temko  was a mother and  housewife in the 1950s. She developed her interest in paperfolding.  Gradually enjoyed teaching, writing books about origami.  She also demonstrated origami in libraries, schools , Museum and TV shows. 
 
She was listed in "Who's Who of American Women".
She presented hundreds of hands-on programs in educational and industrial organizations including the Metro Museum of Art in New York, the Children's Museum in Boston, The Advertising Club, The Art Teacher Association and  American Craft Fair etc.
 
In 1986 Mingei International Museum in San Diego, USA received her generous donation of 600 origami books. 
In 2003, with her as the consultant, there was an Origami Masterworks Exhibition of 200 objects by over 40 world famous paperfolders .
 
She travelled in over 30 countries looking for traditional paper folk crafts ideas.  Through origami she made friends around the world.  They were from Canada, China, England, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Switzerland etc.
 
Her books included :  Origami Magic,   A Thousand Cranes,  Paper Jewelry,  Folk Crafts for World Friendship.
She was very proud of the book - Paper Pandas and Jumping Frogs - published by China Books 1986.  
Valuable references are recorded in this book  e.g. -   Story of paper;  History of Paperfolding and  How to teach Paperfolding.
 
She was 88 when she died of heart failure.
 
Akira Yoshizawa

Japan

1911 - 2005 Mr. Yoshizawa may be the most prolific paper folder in the history of origami .... his interest in Origami began at the age of 3 when he received a gift of a paper boat. While working in a steel mill at the age of 27 he folded papers more seriously. He held exhibitions, gave lectures and often reported by media in Japan.

In 1955, his achievement in origami came to the attention of the art world after the exhibition of his work in Holland organized by Dr. Gershon Legman. In 1959 his origami artwork was presented in an exhibition by Lillian Oppenheimer in New York.

From 1966, on behalf of the Japan Foreign Ministry, he held lectures of origami in over 30 countries in Australia, Asia, America and Europe, promoting good wills among nations. In 1970 the Readers Digest magazine reported his outstanding work in origami.

In 1986, in recognition of his over 20 years contribution to the mutual understanding among nations of the world, he received the Foreign Minister Prize. From the next year to 1989 he attended the Japan Week in Hang Chow, China. In 1989, commemorating the 90th anniversary of Japanese immigrant in Peru, he lectured at the World Origami Exhibition with his origami artworks.

He published over 25 books including:- Life Affluent origami; Origami Museum 1 & 2; Origami Reader 1 & 2; Creative origami; Art of origami, Beautiful origami and Joyful origami for mother & child. He developed new folding techniques and created hundreds of new models including fish, birds and animals. In Japan, he was declared as a national treasure.

He often hoped that he could help to bring peace to the world through origami. As an origami artist he became an Ambassador for Japanese culture and World Peace. He died on his birthday, March 14, 2005. He was 94.

Dr. Philip Shen

Philippine/ HK/ USA

1931 - 2004 Born in Philippine, Dr. Shen studied Divinity in the University of Chicago, USA.. Before migrated to California on 1994 he was the head of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

As a child, he learned paper folding from parents ( e.g. glider, waterbomb and boat etc). His father bought him several books including "The art of Chinese paper folding " by Maying Soong.

When working in church camps, he discovered that origami could be a valuable medium for intercultural understanding and creative expression. He was inspired by Jack Skillman who introduced him to the Origami Centre of America. He wrote articles on origami with special interest in creating models of utensils, furnitures and geometric shapes. His origami creations are simple and aesthetically beautiful.

He was the honourable consultant of the Chinese (HK) Origami Society since 1991. His work was exhibited and published in UK, USA, Hong Kong , Japan and Singapore etc. In 1970 the Reader's Digest (Chinese) written about him and the magic of origami . The British Origami Society published a booklet about his work on 1982.

He was 73 when he died of lung cancer.

Thoki Yenn

Denmark

1919 - 2004 Thoki was a man of many talents. He practised kirigami since 4 years old. He was also very interested in magic, origami, geometry, writing, drawings and film making. He worked hard to be a magician and wanted a name to conjure with, therefore changed his name: Thorkild Sondergard Jensen into: Thoki Yenn. He traveled around Europe to Magic Conventions and won prizes for Comic Conjuring in Paris, Amsterdam and Stockholm. He also won the Golden Ring prize in Magic Circle Denmark.

After meeting Mrs. Lillian Oppenheimer in Copenhagen in 1958, origami became an important part of his life. He started the Dansk Origami Centre in 1991. He created many outstanding origami models including the famous Magic Rings and DNA.

He passed away at the age of 85.
To view Mr. Thoki Yenn's website, click here

Sadako Sasaki

Japan

1943 - 1955 The Atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima Aug 6, 1945 when she was 2 years old. At 11, Sadako was the fastest runner in her class. She collapsed in a race and was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer of the blood. She tried to fold a thousand cranes hoping that her wish for world peace could be granted. By the time she died she had folded 644 cranes. Her friends folded the remaining cranes for her funeral. Afterwards they formed a club and began raising money for a monument. The Peace monument was unveiled in Hiroshima Park 1958. Every year people from all over the world send paper cranes to the Park on August 6th --- the Peace Day.
For more information click here
Friedrich Froebel

Germany

1782 - 1852 The German educator who introduced paper folding into the Kindergarten movement. He was the first person highly valued origami as the educational material.
Leo Tolstoy

Russia

1828 - 1910 He was Leo Nikolaevich, Count Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace". His origami experience was mentioned by A B Goldenweiser in "Talks with Tolstoy", published by Horizon Press, New York

His famous essay "What is art?" in 1896 mentioned how the folded cockerels could flap their wings when the tails were pulled.

Margaret Campbell

...

18.. - 19.. After learning much paperfoldings while travelling in Japan and China etc she settled down in South Africa. She complied her paperfolding collections for her grandchildren. Her book "Paper Toy Making" was published in England in 1937.
Roy Campbell

South Africa

1901 - 1957 He was a poet born in Durban, the son of Margaret Campbell. In the preface he wrote for his mother's book he mentioned the fun of paper folding. He recognised his creative potential the very first time when the paper bird flapped its wings in his hand.
Lewis Carroll

England

1832 - 1898 He was an Oxford mathematician and writer for the children. In 1889 he folded a fishing boat (probably the Chinese Junk) for the grandchildren of Queen Victoria. Later he learned how to fold paper pistols and taught them too.
Charles Sydney Gibbes

England

1914 He was a Cambridge graduate and the tutor of the children of Czar Nicholas II. By using paperfolding he succeeded in winning the confidence of his withdrawn pupil - the Czarevitch (Eric Kenneway - A paper folder in St Petersburg.)
Harry Houdini 1874 - 1926 He was the famous escape artist born in Budapest, Hungary and emigrated to USA. His original name was Erik Weisz. One of his tricks on stage was to transform a piece of paper into a flapping bird. He was known to be the author of "Houdini's Paper Magic".
Maying Soong 1948 published the book -- The Art of Chinese Paperfolding for Young and Old ..... (Do you know anything about her?)
Miguel de Unamuno

Spain

1864 - 1936 writer & philosopher invented many animal constructions and wrote the book - Amor y Pedagogia in 1902, a humorous essay on origami.
Dr. Vincente Solorzano Sagredo

Spain/ Argentina

.... As a child, his mother taught him some simple folds. About 10 years old he learned from a book how to fold a frog and a whale. Paperfolding books were hard to find. Born in Spain, he studied medicine in Valladolid. As a physician he visited Europe and America. He settled in Argentina in 1912 and practised as a physician in Buenos Aires. With further studies he became a dentist from 1921.

In South America, he enjoyed demonstrating paperfolding to his friends. On their request, he wrote down folding instructions of his creations. Later they encouraged him to publish. He named paperfolding as "papiroflexia". His publications includes:
1938---Manuels 1,2,3 of Papirolas (to 1940)
1945---Papiroflexia Superior
1947---Six booklets "Papirolas Escolares"
1965---Papiroflexia Zoomorfica Vol. I & II

Vernon Holden

Queensland, Australia

Born in 1936 As a teacher in Bundaberg, he was inspired by Robert Harbin's TV origami presentation in 1971. He was educated in Kelvin Grove Teachers' Training College in Brisbane. He taught origami to selected students and often used folded models as rewards of merit.

He mainly learned from books and ordered many from Origami USA. In 1972 he became a member of BOS and enjoyed entering models in competitions. He also exhibited his work at the Bundaberg Show. He has been interested in creating geometric shapes but his first creation was a belt buckle. The Origami Master he admired most was Neil Elias.

Arthur Stone

England

....-1939 used origami in mathematical recreation and invented flexagons
Ismael Adolfo Cerceda

Argentina

1923-1979 He was a talented magician. Besides a gifted origamist he was a knife thrower who used paper folding to calm his nerves. He also studied hypnotism and loved painting.
Robert Harbin
(Ned Williams)

South Africa

1909-1978 First President of British Origami Society, He brought the western world into greater appreciation of the art. He was also a great magician. He published a book titled "Paper Magic" in 1956.
Gershon Legman

France

1917-1999 He was a free-lance researcher and writer. He was the appointed Writer in Residence at the University of California from 1964 to 1965
  • Started serious research into paper folding in 1945
  • Complied the first Bibliography of paper folding in 1952
  • Established links of paper folders between South America and Europe and North America
  • Arranged the exhibition for Akira Yoshizawa at Amsterdam in 1955
  • Started the foundation of origami movement which continues today by liaising with Robert Harbin and Lillian Oppenheimer.
Lillian Oppenheimer

USA

1899 - 1992 From 1950 to 1960 she started the origami movement in USA. From 1951 she corresponded with Robert Harbin, Gershon Legman, Ligia Montoya, and Akira Yoshizawa. In 1958 she opened the origami centre with 25 people in the class and published a newsletter " The Origamian ". In 1959 she founded the Origami centre of America.  That became the current OrigamiUSA in New York.  She died at the age of 93

Her publications included:-
Folding paper puppets    (1962)
Folding paper toys          (1963)
Folding paper Masks      (1965)

Toshie Takahama

Japan

1908 - 1999
1908 Born in Tokyo
1930 Gratuated from Tsuda College
1946 worked as a newswriter till 1965 in the Foreign News section of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)
1965 She met Lilian Oppenheimer at New York World Fair and started developing friendship with American folders.
1967 She founded the Sosaku Origami Group which led to the transformation of Japanese origami movement to the western style.

Countries visited on goodwill missions:- USA in 1965, UK in 1974, Maxico in 1978, China in 1979, Taiwan in 1980, Italy in 1981, France in 1981, Singapore in 1982, USA in 1984.

She was highly achieved in creating Japanese paper dolls. She died at the age of 91

She contributed to the Origamian and published many books including:-
--- Creative Life with origami
--- Origami for fun
--- The joy of origami (1985)

Frieda Lourie

USA

19.. - 1959 Frieda was Jewish and was born in Austria. She had Austrian qualifications in occupational therapy. She used paperfolding as a therapy among mental patients in Belle Vue Hospital, New York. At the hospital she met Robert Neale who was a chaplain there.

She was a close friend of Lillian Oppenheimer and they worked together to learn about and teach origami. They both spent considerable time visiting groups of old people, the Red Cross and Boy and Girl Scouts. Their efforts eventually led to the formation of the Origami Center in New York in October 1958.

Frieda's work is described in Hokubei Shimpo, an English-language newspaper for Japanese, published in New York.

Eric Kenneway

London

1930 - 19.. He became an art teacher in London schools on return from military service in the Royal Artillery in North Africa. While finding ways to help his pupil in crafts he discovered the "Art of Origami" by Sam Randlett and "Paper Magic " by Robert Harbin. Eric was an active member of the Origami Portfolio Society in UK and later in the British Origami Society. He was helpful in translating Japanese articles on origami. He was very skilful in folding portraits including Napoleon, Shakespeare and Confucius.

His publications included "Simple origami" published by David in 1970, "Origami in action" and "Complete Origami" by St. Martin's Griffin in 1987.

Paul Krueger

Kiel, Wisconsin, USA

1935 - 1999 He was the first regional group coordinator for OUSA and was also responsible for producing the handbook for regional groups.

Since 1986, he had been a regular contributor to FOLD --an origami amateur publication and became the organizing editor for a few years. His contribution included many thoughtful articles and poetry. He taught English as an adjunct professor at a local college.

Paul combined his interest in origami with church sermons. He was a lay minister who used origami to teach and inspire children. He would fold 30-40 models and hand them to all the children so they would have something tangible to hold on to. He was always eager to teach or learn a model since he bought an origami book in early 1980s.

Paul was also known for writing several books, including a recent one of money folds.

Victor Frenkil

Baltimore, USA

1921 - 1999 As a builder in Baltimore, he was well known for folding money into letters and quacking birds. His building projects included bridges, piers, theatres, restaurants and factories. From a former G.I. he learned the dollar bill bow tie with the framed picture of George Washington. Subsequently, he created a system of folding alphabets from money. In 1958 he was appointed as the honorary member of Origami Centre of USA.

His book - Folding Money Vol. 2 was published by Magic Inc. in Chicago

Archives etc. .... For further research, there are some known resource worth to be considered:-
  • Collections at Origami USA, 15 West 77th Street, NY 10024 - 5192 New York.
  • Mingei International Museum in San Diego, USA --- with collection of books, origami newsletters and other material relating to origami
  • Stanford University, California, USA --- Father McNaul's collection in the East Asian Collection in the Hoover Institution.
  • Germany National Museum in Nuremburg, Germany --- with collection of paper soldiers in the children's section.
  • Museum of Chinese Art in Manhattan, USA --- with the exhibition "Fly to Freedom " in 1996
  • Poland origami exhibition --- in the Center of Japanese Art & Technology, National Museum in Krakow, 14 to 26 October 2000
    Exhibitions 2001 The American Immigration Law Center will have an exhibit of "Fly to Freedom: The Art of the Golden Venture Refugees" from March 23 - May 25, 2001 at 918 F St, NW, Washington, DC. The travelling exhibit was organized by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in New York City. For more information: 202-742-5600 or click here
    Francis McNaul

    Sunnyvale, California, USA

    1914 - 1972 Father McNaul was a priest in the Episcopal Church. He made his living as a cost estimator for Applied Technology. He was an active paperfolder in the 1960's and a frequent contributor to the Origamian - former newsletter of OrigamiUSA. He devoted much of his time helping the Origami Centre to translate many Spanish origami works into English.
    In 1973 his origami collection was donated to Stanford University which can be found in the East Asian Collection in the Hoover Institution. Everything is catalogued and divided into indexed folders by his friend, Mrs.Yoshiko Decker. This collection provides a resource to research origami in the 1950s and 1960s when modern origami was blossoming. The collection consists of 120 books, 15 binders of diagrams/ correspondence and folded models.
     
     

    George Ho - origami  1993 - 2013 

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