The National Museum of Western Art is located in a convenient location, 1 minute walk from the park entrance of Ueno station in Tokyo. This is the facility for the storage and exhibition of the “Matsukata Collection” boasted by the National Museum of Western Art. In the front yard there is also a sculpture of Rodin. The building of the main building was designed by French architect Le Corbusier and completed in 1959, and it is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is based on the concept of “modulor” invented by Le Corbusier and the idea of “infinite growth museum” where the number of exhibition rooms will increase from the center to the outside like a conch, It is a characteristic building.
Since opening in 1959, the National Museum of Western Art has been collecting and introducing Western art. At the National Museum of Western Art, you can see many art works in several buildings and exhibition rooms. In addition to permanent exhibition works, special exhibition rooms introduce Western art of various countries and times. Based on Le Corbusier’s concept, the new building and printmaking drawing exhibition room are designed by Japanese architect Kunio Maekawa with an image spreading from the main building.
At the National Museum of Western Art, the collection called “Matsukata Collection” is the core of the exhibition. Western paintings from the late Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century and French modern sculptures centered on Rodin are displayed throughout the year in the main building, new building, front yard.
“Matsukata Collection” is about 370 artworks collected in various parts of Europe from Taisho to Showa era by Mr. Kojiro Matsukata who was the president of the Kawasaki shipbuilding. For permanent exhibits, images and commentaries are published on the website of the National Museum of Western Art.
For those who want to know more about the work, “art talk” is recommended. It is an explanation of the gallery by the volunteer staff, and it is to appreciate 5 to 7 pieces of works from the works of the permanent exhibition room together. The theme and contents of the talk are very unique as the volunteer staff prepares themselves for planning. You can see the work in an easy-to-understand manner, and you can know it deeply.
The National Museum of Western Arts was built in order to exhibit “Matsukata collection.”
His collection of paintings, sculptures, and Ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) which Matsukata had bought in Europe during the First World War, when he was prospering as president of Kawasaki Dockyard, had come to be known as “Matsukata collection,” a part of which became a base of The National Museum of Western Art.
However, “Matsukata collection” which was being kept to France was seized by the French government in the Second World War. After the war, the demand of “building the art museum for Matsukata collection” was received as return conditions, and the National Museum of Western Arts was built.
Here, western pictures from the last stage of medieval times to the early 20th century, and the french modern sculptures mainly on the work of Rodin are exhibited. Though there is this art museum in the perfect location being quite near to the Ueno Station, but the admission fee is very reasonable as the adult of 500 yen.
Since the admission fee is cheap, if the contents of exhibition are nothing to speak of will be thought, but many works from the Renaissance to the early 20th century are exhibited. For example, even the Monet of the Impressionists is displayed more than 10 works.
It is seldom known that the work of Johannes Vermeer, which is said that only about 35 works exist all over the world, will be seen in here. It is “Sint Praxedis” exhibited on main building the second floor from 2015.
The main building “National Museum of Western Arts” is registered into the World Cultural Heritage.
The museum’s main building is the only structure in Japan that was designed by Le Corbusier.
17 construction works of Le Corbusier was registered world’s cultural heritage as “a building work of Le Corbusier”.
|Name:||The National Museum of Western Art|
|Address:||Ueno-koen 7-7 Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007 Japan|
|Access:||JR Yamanote-sen Line “Ueno-eki Station” (1 minute walk)|
|Price:||500 yen (Adult)
250 yen (university / college student)
Free (High school students or younger)
Please refer the official web page.