Roger Shimomura has become widely known for his print series Oriental Masterpieces and Oriental Masterprints, which combine traditional Japanese print styles, American cartoon imagery, and a contemporary sense of graphic design.
Shimomura donated this painting to the Spencer in 1988 in honor of Nancy Anne Zimmerman (1937–1988). Co-owner of the former Kellas Gallery in Lawrence, Kansas, Zimmerman not only showed Lawrence artists’ work in the gallery, but also encouraged them by treating them to meals, arranging employment opportunities, and visiting their studios. Originally untitled, Shimomura renamed this painting Dinner Conversation with Nancy upon its donation to the Spencer, remembering that, “Nancy had a lot of interesting dinner parties at her house. Always a lot of artists, and a lot of fascinating and sometimes contentious conversation over food.