News Releases

News Releases

Truman Presidential Library to Host “Rooted among the Ashes,” Traveling Exhibit Reflecting on Hiroshima and Nagasaki | March 27, 2023

Photos of “hibakujumoku,” surviving trees from A-bombed cities in Japan, opens March 31.

Exhibit opening includes remarks by the artist, Katy McCormick, and President Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel.

Descendants of the survivor trees shown in the exhibition will find a home on the Truman Library grounds as part of a major landscaping and outdoor exhibition project.


The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum will unveil Rooted among the Ashes: Hibakujumoku / A-bombed Trees, a photographic exhibit of the survivor trees from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cities targeted by the first atomic bombs. The exhibition by artist Katy McCormick opens Friday, March 31 and runs through April 30, 2024 at the museum in Independence, MO.

For more than a decade McCormick has explored Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Rooted among the Ashes portrays trees that survived the first use of atomic bombs in 1945. Standing in school yards, temple grounds, and city squares, the A-bombed trees are living memorials, rooted among the ashes just below the surfaces of now-thriving cities. Predicated on “walking and remembrance,” the exhibition invites a promenade through space and time, memory and history, urging reflection upon how the past haunts the present—warning, teaching, urging care.

“On my first visit to Hiroshima in 2008, I was stunned by the power of these amazing trees,” she says. “It forced me to think about a history that I had not thought very deeply about. They symbolize present beauty and past horror.”

McCormick’s photographic project ultimately connected her to Clifton Truman Daniel, President Truman’s oldest grandson and honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute. “To me, the trees represent resiliency and new life in the wake of horrific tragedy,” said Daniel. “This unique exhibit will give visitors a chance to pause and reflect on the impact of war and the importance of reconciliation.”

Descendants of the survivor trees shown in the exhibition will find a home on the Truman Library grounds as part of a major landscaping and outdoor exhibition project.

Presenting portraits of A-bombed trees in a manner reminiscent of scrolls, McCormick’s bamboo prints “breathe” and rustle with the passage of visitors. Unprotected by glass or frames, they are entrusted to viewers’ care and preservation as some of the last living witnesses to nuclear catastrophe. Complementing the photographic images, a video reveals alternative views of the trees, allowing viewers to sense their scale and vitality.

A soundscape transports gallery visitors to the sonic environments of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, alluding to the routine life obliterated in the disaster of war. Excerpts of written testimonials accompany the visual works, giving a sense of what was happening on the ground in the hours, days and weeks following the bombings.

Rooted among the Ashes is included with regular Museum admission, and is made possible, in part by the Truman Library Institute.

Plan your visit here.


Dean Davison


The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum is one of 15 presidential libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. Established in 1957, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum preserves and provides access to President Truman’s historical materials. Through engaging exhibits and programs, the Library aspires to reach a broad and diverse audience in a continuous effort to keep President Truman’s life and legacy alive, emphasizing his ideals of citizenship, learning, and service. Learn more at

The Truman Library Institute is the member-supported, nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. The Truman Library Institute draws on President Truman’s legacy to enrich public understanding of history, the presidency, and America’s unique form of government. This mission is achieved through the development and funding of world-class museum exhibits, a robust international research grant program, public forums, and nationally acclaimed education programs serving more than 50,000 students and teachers each year.

About the Artist / Katy McCormick
Katy McCormick is a photo-based artist born in Kansas City, Missouri, whose work examines commemorative sites, revealing narratives embedded in landscapes. Since 2014, she has been a member of the Atomic Photographers Guild, an international group of photographers who critically represent the nuclear age. Rooted among the Ashes: Hibakujumoku / A-bombed Trees, begun in 2008, was recently on view at the Quaker Heritage Center in Wilmington, Ohio. Her work is included in Through Post-atomic Eyes (2020) and Place Matters (2022), both published by McGill-Queens University Press. McCormick is associate professor of photography and the interim chair of Image Arts at The Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University. Learn more at