Skip to main content

We use cookies and tags on our website to provide you with a better website experience, advertising based on your browsing habits, and to understand what our website is being used for, and for statistics and measurement purposes. By clicking ‘I Accept’, or clicking on our website, you agree to such purposes and the sharing of your data with our trusted partners.
For further information, please read Privacy Policy.

Past Exhibitions
[Special Exhibition]
Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA

[Special Exhibition]
Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA

(PDF file, about 569KB)

Tuesday, 11 June 2019 - Monday, 23 September 2019
9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Fridays, Saturdays 9:30 am – 9:00 pm
Admission ends 30 mins. before closing time
Mondays (except 15 July, 12 August, 16 September and 23 September) and Tuesday, 16 July 2019.
Organized by
The National Museum of Western Art,
The Yomiuri Shimbun,
NHK Promotions Inc.
With the sponsorship of
Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.,
Nissha Co.,Ltd.,
With the cooperation of

Japan Airlines,
The Western Art Foundation

image: Agency for Cultural Affairs
This exhibition is covered by the Japanese Act on the Indemnification of Damage to Works of Art in Exhibitions (Act No.17 of 2011)

Admission Fees
Adults 1,600 yen, College students 1,200 yen, High school students 800 yen
Advance purchase/Discount fees for groups of 20 or more
Adults 1,400 yen, College students 1,000yen, High school students 600 yen
Advance purchase tickets will be on sale from Wednesday 6 March 2019 to Monday 10 June 2019. At the museum ticket office, advance ticket will be available until Sunday 9 June 2019.
Full admission fees apply from Tuesday 11 June 2019.
Junior high school and younger children admitted free of charge.
Free admission for High school students from Saturday 20 July until Tuesday 6 August 2019.
Disabled visitors admitted free of charge with one attendant. Please present your disability identification upon arrival.
Number of visitors

Between 1916 and around 1927, as his business rode a soaring demand for ships, due to the First World War, Kojiro Matsukata (1866-1950), head of Kawasaki Dockyard Co., Ltd., Kobe (present-day Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.), used his wealth to purchase a large number of artworks, mainly in London and Paris. The original Matsukata Collection ranged over different periods, regions, and genres: paintings by Monet, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, modern British paintings, sculptures by Rodin, medieval panel paintings, and tapestries. If the approximately 8,000 ukiyo-e prints he recovered from the West are included, the collection came to around 10,000 items.

Then, in 1927, ill fortune struck; with his company teetering on the brink of ruin, due to the Showa Financial Crisis, his prized possessions fell victim to the vicissitudes of fate. Works already delivered to Japan were put up for sale; others, stored in London, were destroyed in a warehouse fire; and most of the rest were seized in Paris by the French government toward the end of the Second World War. Of this last group, 375 were later handed over by France as a donation to Japan, and these pieces from the Matsukata Collection finally found a refuge when The National Museum of Western Art was established in Tokyo in 1959.

This exhibition, celebrating the museum’s 60th anniversary, traces the century-long journey of the Matsukata Collection––buffeted by the waves of turbulent times. The 160 or so artworks on display include some of the masterpieces from among the works dispersed in and outside Japan, such as the renowned Bedroom in Arles by Van Gogh and Water Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows by Monet, the latter rediscovered in Paris as recently as 2016. They are shown along with a variety of historical materials.

Lectures and Slide Talks will be also held at the museum. Please visit each page for details.

image: 《Water Lilies》
Claude Monet
Water Lilies
1916 oil on canvas
The National Museum of Western Art
Matsukata Collection

Exhibition Checklist (PDF file, about 650KB)PDF

image: beyond2020 image: nihonhaku