The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto


Collection GalleryThe 4th Collection Gallery Exhibition 2016–2017 (171 works in all)

Collection Gallery

The 4th Collection Gallery Exhibition 2016–2017 (171 works in all)

Exhibition Period

9. 22 (Thu., National Holiday) – 12. 11 (Sun.), 2016

First Period :       9. 22 (Thu.) – 10. 30 (Sun.), 2016
Second Period : 11. 1 (Tue.) – 12. 11 (Sun.), 2016


The fourth collection gallery exhibition of this fiscal year features numerous exhibits related to the special exhibition on the 3rd floor, entitled, "Mary Cassatt Retrospective."

Born in Philadelphia, USA, Mary Cassatt was an impressionist painter active in Paris, who also played an important role in introducing the Impressionism to the United States.
At the entrance to the Collection Gallery, works by the artists who joined her at the same Impressionism exhibitions are on display. Through their works featuring daily life and scenery, and their dynamic brushstrokes depicting changing light, one can easily perceive how much Cassatt was able to learn from these impressionist painters.

The Nihonga (Japanese-style painting) section focuses on works by the female painter, Kajiwara Hisako as Special Feature 1. Born into a sake brewer family in the Gion area of Kyoto in 1896, Hisako aimed at becoming a painter, encouraged by Chigusa Soun, a Japanese-style painter and teacher at the Kyoto Prefectural Second Girls’ High School (now Kyoto Prefectural Suzaku High School).
After becoming a student of Kikuchi Keigetsu, Hisako distinguished herself by her works such as “Archery Parlor,” depicting women at the lower class of society. After World War Ⅱ, she created many works such as “Camera,” that inherited the characteristic integrity of Keigetsu’s paintings. The exhibition features the whole gamut of Hisako’s representative works, from her early works to her late representative work entitled “Cape of Zanpa,” together with works by Chigusa Soun, who was instrumental in establishing Hisako’s career as a painter.

KAJIWARA Hisako, Cape of Zanpa, 1878
KAJIWARA Hisako, Cape of Zanpa, 1878

In addition, a series entitled “Autumn Scenary in Japanese-style Painting,” which includes works that evoke the poetic feelings of autumn will be on display. Paintings such as “Hardship of Travelers’ Ways” by Konoshima Okoku and “Road Getting Dark’ by Kamisaka Shoto are on display in the first period, and the works such as “‘Without Home, Autumn is Getting Deeper’ by Santoka” by Ikeda Yoson will be on display in the second period.

The photography & printing section features exhibits entitled “Transatlactic Dream: 291 and Modern Art.” It focuses on the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who made a significant contribution to the development of photography as a new form of media through his works and publication of a new magazine, Camera Work. Furthermore, Stieglitz supported the development of the avant-garde art movement in the United States by establishing a new gallery “291” on 291 Fifth Avenue in New York to introduce the works of representative avant-garde artists in Europe, such as Picasso and Matisse, and those of the American artists who were active in the same period.
The interaction of the two representative cities across the Atlantic Ocean – Paris, which was the center of art before World War Ⅱ, and New York, which took over that position after the war – can be deciphered through these works and reference materials.

Alfred STIEGLITZ, A Dirigible, 1910
Alfred STIEGLITZ, A Dirigible, 1910

The craft section features exhibits with 2 themes; “Crafts by Living National Treasures” and “Myriad Possibilities: Needle and Thread.” A holder of an important intangible cultural property is referred to by the alias, “Living National Treasure.” The term “intangible cultural property” signifies intangible cultural assets such as craft techniques and skills in performing arts. A “Living National Treasure” is an individual who possesses such sophisticated skills and has conducted highly creative activities. There is a wide range of skills and techniques certified as “important intangible cultural property” by the Japanese government. In the field of pottery alone, there are 21 kinds of skills/techniques, including “iro-e-jiki (multicolored overglazed porcelain)” represented by the works of Tomimoto Kenkichi, and "neri-age-de (blended colored clay)" represented by the works of Matsui Kosei.
At present, there are approximately 170 holders of important intangible cultural properties in the field of craft techniques alone, among which, 19 such “skills & techniques” are now on display at our collection gallery exhibition. Under the theme of “Myriad Possibilities: Needle and Thread,” a variety of possibilities and characteristics related to needlework are being explored, such as embroidery work which often appeared as motifs in works by Mary Cassatt.

TOMIMOTO, Kenkichi, Ornamental Gourd-shaped Jar with Sarasatic Pattern, overglaze enamels, 1944
TOMIMOTO, Kenkichi
Ornamental Gourd-shaped Jar with Sarasatic Pattern, overglaze enamels, 1944

The second special feature exhibits are entitled “Women in Creation.” They focus on works by multi-talented female artists who were, or are playing active roles in different fields, including Japanese-style painting, oil painting, pottery and textiles. In particular, “Untitled,” a collaborative work by Agano Machiko and Anniken Amundsen, which features a sculptural combination of stainless steel wire, fishing line, and hand-crafted paper, and “Wind Blowing over the Grasses” by Kumai Kyoko, a work of interlaced and knotted stainless steel filaments, are worthy of note, since they address the multilamina or transboundary nature of fibre works. Also, the oil painting by Tanaka Atsuko entitled “'78 B” and that by Kanno Seiko entitled “Expanding Elementary Particles” can be enjoyed by comparing them with other contemporary works introduced in the adjacent section entitled “Paintings after 1970s.”

Themes of Exhibition

  • ・Special Feature: Women in Creation
  • ・The Impressionists
  • ・Autumn Scenery in Japanese-style Painting
  • ・Special Feature: Works by KAJIWARA Hisako
  • ・Transatlantic Dream: 291 and Modern Art
  • ・Crafts by Living National Treasures of Japan
  • ・Myriad Possibilities: Needle and Thread
  • ・Paintings after 1970s
  • ・[Outside] Outdoor Sculptures

List of Works

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