Highlights from the Library Collection

“New Year in America,” painting by Lois Johnson shows children in Hmong costumes.

Lois Johnson’s original oil painting “New Year in America” hangs on display in the USCIS History Library. It depicts four young girls showing off their native Hmong costumes.  Though their dress is bright and cheerful, one girl looks at the viewer with a pensive face as if she is remembering the past. 

Picture of Hmong children in traditional dress.

The artist provided the following quote for the painting:

The challenge of a new beginning…

What is of value from the old and should be preserved?

How to choose what is to be taken from the new?

Where is the wisdom for this new life?

The painting was entered into a nationwide art competition sponsored by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in celebration of its 1991 centennial.  The response to the competition was impressive both in the volume of entries and quality of the artwork.  This particular work was selected for an INS-sponsored traveling exhibition called “Images of American Immigration.” Today it hangs in the USCIS History Library along with ten other paintings from the exhibit.  They can be viewed by appointment.


Last Reviewed/Updated: