In Tokyo, museums and galleries often hold exhibitions of international arts. For example, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno now exhibits paintings of Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita. He was a Japanese-French painter of École de Paris. The poster of this exhibition used one of his famous paintings, “Cafe” which now belongs to Centre George Pompidou.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
This museum is famous for the architecture itself, too. The current building, built in 1975 is a great masterpiece of Kunio Maekawa. He was an apprentice of the world renowned architect, Le Corbusier. The modern facade of the museum is quite photogenic.
The atmosphere of the architecture definitely reminds me of the building of the National Museum of Western Art. Le Corbusier designed this museum and Kunio Maekawa completed it.
The Future International Art Exhibition
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum often holds international art exhibitions. The exhibition of Foujita is until 8 October but new exhibitions are coming soon. Here are the brochures I got at the Museum.
The exhibition of Munch, a Swedish painter starts from the end of October. Next year from February, they will have an exhibition of Jakuchu Ito, a Japanese ukiyoe painter. Then comes Klimt, an Austrial painter. When you are in Tokyo, check what they exhibit at the museums. They always have something interesting.
More International Arts in Ueno
Ueno is a cultural districts with many museums. Another famous museum is Tokyo National Museum.
When I was small, I remember they exhibited only ancient arts such as Egyptian mummies, Greek vases, Japanese Buddhas and armours. They still have those exhibits but today, they also show modern arts.
At present, they have a special exhibition of Marcel Duchamp, a French-American painter, sculptor, chess player, and writer whose work is associated with Cubism, conceptual art, and Dada (source: Wikipedia).
The architecture of Tokyo National Museum is also quite beautiful.
International Arts in Le Corbusier’s Museum
As I explained above, it was Le Corbusier who designed the National Museum of Western Art. And in 2016, UNESCO added 17 sites of Le Corbusier’s projects around the world to the list of World Heritage and this museum is among them.
The majority of the art pieces in this museum belongs to Matsukata Collection. Kojiro Matsukata was a business person who earned profit in maritime industry. During 1910s and 1920s, he collected western arts. Unfortunately a large part of his collection was sold during the financial crisis in late 1920s and 1930s or destroyed by fire. But some of the art works remained.and after the World War II, the French government condemned the collection. The international arts collected by Matsukata experienced dramatic destiny and they finally came back to Japan and settled in this museum in 1959. It was based on the request of French government to build a museum to store the collection properly.
Next hear, the National Museum of Western Art will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Matsukata Collection. They have famous paintings of Monet, Gogh and other Impressionists.
More Info on Museums in Ueno
<Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum>
Address: 8-36 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs: 9:30am – 5:30pm (Closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays, 9-16 July, 25 December, 31 December, 1st January.)
Admission: depends on the exhibitions so check the website.
<Tokyo National Museum>
Address: 13-9 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs: 9:30am – 5pm (Closed on Mondays, 26 December – 1st January.)
Admission: ¥620 for adults and ¥410 for college students (Special exhibitions require additional fees.) For details, check the website.
<National Museum of Western Art>
Address: 7-7 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs: 9:30am – 5:30pm (until 8pm on Fridays.) (closed on Mondays, 28 December – 1st January)
Admission: ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for college students.
For details, check the website.
Walking / Biking: suitable for both walking and biking.