Collection Gallery

The 4th Collection Gallery Exhibition 2014-2015 (Second)

Exhibition Period

9. 3 (Wed.) - 11. 30 (Sun.), 2014

First:   9. 3 (Wed.) – 10. 19 (Sun.)
Second: 10. 21 (Tue.) – 11. 30 (Sun.)


The 4th collection gallery exhibition also features exhibits related to the special exhibition entitled "James McNeill Whistler Retrospective" being held on the 3rd floor at the same time. Near the entrance to the venue, a joint research project between our curators and Dr. Takashina Erika, Associate Professor at the Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University entitled "Curatorial Studies 07: Yôga (Japanese western-style painting) and Ukiyo-e - Japonisme as Mirror" is being displayed. Japanese arts and crafts enthralled people in the West in the 19th century, exerting a great influence on the new art trends in Europe and America. Japanese western-style painters, who took great pains in acquiring techniques for their work, also became aware of this trend in the West. We attempt to explore how these western-style painters struggled to pursue their own art expressions through Japonisme in the West, and focus on their relationship with Ukiyo-e painting.

TOMITA Keisen《Evening Snow in Atago, Evening Glow in Hamamachi》1919
TOMITA Keisen, Evening Glow in Hamamachi, 1919
  The Nihonga section in the first period featured Japanese-style paintings of autumn scenes. For the second period, it features the entire oeuvre of Tomita Keisen, in commemoration of the 135th anniversary of his birth. Born in Fukuoka in 1879, Keisen came to Kyoto aspiring to become a painter at the age of 18 years old, and studied the Shijo school of painting under Tsuji Kako. However, he soon started to look for his own unique style of art, studying such fields as Buddhist painting, nanga (a school of Chinese painting which became popular in Japan during the Edo period) and even western-style painting. He played an active role mainly at Inten (Japan Fine Arts Institute) exhibitions. Our museum possesses approximately 20 of Keisen's works, including "Cormorant Fishing Boats" which was his first painting ever admitted to the Bunten exhibition and which brought him fame, "Evening Snow in Atago, Evening Glow in Hamamachi" which is the only remaining work among his "Eight Views of Saga," a series that featured the suburban area of Kyoto where he used to live, and "Flowers of Seasons in the Anthology of the Manyoshu," which is one of his most representative paintings from his later years. It is our most sincere wish that Keisen's artistic appeal – his free-spirited, vigorous lines, vivid but soft, dignified colors, and rich expressions supported by his profound knowledge of Chinese poetry and Buddhist anecdotes – will be widely appreciated through this exhibition.

The next section features contemporary art in the Kansai district. This is the last installment of the chronological exhibition of our masterpieces in commemoration of our 50th anniversary which started last year. Introduced here is the work of artists related to the Kansai district, many of whom exhibited their work at our old serial exhibitions entitled "Trends in Contemporary Japanese Art" which was continuously held from establishment of our museum until the early 1970s. Our incessant effort to collect these past exhibits is an attestation to our fervent desire to verify our museum activities.

TOMIMOTO Kenkichi, Cluster Amaryllis 1914
TOMIMOTO Kenkichi,
   Cluster Amaryllis, 1914
  Entitled "A Regard for the Great Britain," our ceramic work section features works of representative ceramic artists such as Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Bernard Leach. Also exhibited here are numerous sketches and kitunenworks by Tomimoto Kenkichi who, greatly influenced by William Morris' Arts and Crafts Movement, went to study in London in 1908, visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum on a daily basis for sketching purposes.

SAEKI Yuzo, Advertisements at a Back Street, 1927
SAEKI Yuzo, Advertisements at a Back Street, 1927
  Since Whistler mostly focused on portraits and sceneries, our special exhibition could not include still life works. We therefore thought of bringing "art on the table" as the theme for our collection gallery exhibition. Introduced here include works in photography, woodblock prints by Kawakami Sumio, etching work by Hasegawa Kiyoshi and Ikeda Masuo, and Alessi's architect-designed silverware.

Lastly, entitled "Special Feature: Discovery of 'Painting' in Modern French Art," we partially trace the descent of modern French paintings, ranging from Fantin-Latour and Monet, both of whom Whistler befriended, and Corot, to artists of the École de Paris. In connection with this, works of Japanese painters who played an active role in Paris such as Fujita Tsuguharu (Leonard Foujita) are also being displayed under the title, "Japanese Painters in Paris."

Themes of Exhibition

List of Exhibits

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