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Past Exhibitions
Exhibition of Frank Brangwyn

Exhibition of Frank Brangwyn

23 February 2010 - 30 May 2010
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo and The Yomiuri Shimbun
In cooperation with
Agency for Cultural Affairs, British Council, Embassy of Belgium, The Japan-Belgium Society, JAPANESE SOCIETY FOR THE SCIENCE OF DESIGN, and TBS RADIO & COMMUNICATIONS,INC.
EPSON, Shimizu Corporation, Dai Nippon Printing Co.,Ltd., and Art Yomiuri Co.,Ltd.
In cooperation with
Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, POLA Art Foundation, and the Western Art Foundation.
Number of visitors

The Matsukata Collection was the cornerstone of the collection of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Matsukata Kojiro, first president of the Kawasaki Shipyards (present-day Kawasaki Heavy Industries), assembled the collection in Europe from the end of the 1910s through the 1920s. The painter Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) was the advisor who helped Matsukata with his collecting activities. Matsukata was fascinated by Brangwyn's paintings of shipyards and laborers, and he began to buy works by Brangwyn. Eventually Matsukata gave Brangwyn the responsibility of designing the “Kyoraku Art Museum” that he planned for the public display of his collection. The economic crisis that hit Japan after the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake meant that Matsukata's museum was never built, but if it had been built, we can surmise that it would have presented a comprehensive display of Brangwyn's works and his design capabilities.

Brangwyn was the first living artist honored with a one-man show at the Royal Academy, and he went on to contribute to numerous wall paintings for public structures in England, Canada and even the Rockefeller Center in New York. Amidst the flourishing decorative arts movement of the day, Brangwyn's oeuvre spanned not only paintings, but also the designs for carpets, furniture, ceramics, prints and illustrated books.

This exhibition is the first exhibition in Japan of Brangwyn's arts and centers on his relationship with Matsukata. The exhibition is comprised of a selection of approximately 120 works assembled from close to 30 museums and collectors in eight countries. In addition to Brangwyn's sketches for the Kyoraku Art Museum, this exhibition will attempt, to the greatest degree possible, a reassembly of the Brangwyn works formerly in the Matsukata Collection. It is our hope that visitors will enjoy Brangwyn's multifaceted talents, as seen in his colorful compositions and powerful depictive skills.