Art Museums Offer a Fresh Look
April 19, 1999
The Otsuka Museum boasts "environmental displays"--replicating not only the works of art but their original surroundings as well. (Otsuka Museum of Art)
The majority of Japan's art museums feature works of modern Western art. But with over 300 museums around the nation, the market for this type of work is now saturated. In order to continue attracting visitors it has become necessary for these institutions to offer fresh themes and be more selective about the works they present. This spring's lineup of newly opened museums offers just such a fresh approach.
The Shimane Art Museum, located in the city of Matsue near beautiful Shinji lake, also opened to the public on March 6. Its collections are appropriate to its setting in that they feature works by a wide range of artists revolving around a single theme--water. With pieces by many famous artists, including Claude Monet's The Needle and the Gate of Aval and Gustave Courbet's The Mill at Scey-en-Varais, the exhibition is sure to be a hit.
One museum already making headlines is the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which opened on April 17, 1999. This institution will be a sister branch of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the United States, famous for its collection of impressionist paintings. As this is the Boston institution's first international "sister museum" relationship, it is already attracting media attention around the world. The Nagoya branch has a 20-year contract with the Boston museum that will give it access to the latter's vast store of work for numerous long- and short-term showings. The opening exhibition runs through September 26 and features landscapes by such impressionists as Monet and Renoir. The many famous works featured are sure to draw big crowds.
In May a former work space of world-renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-88) will be opened to the public in Mure, Kagawa Prefecture, as an outdoor museum. In order to preserve the quality of the works still stored there visitors will be limited to around 60 per day.
Better than the Real Thing?
Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.