September 14 to November 13, 2022
*Download the list of changes in works on display
*There will be an exhibition change during the course of exhibition.
*The period is subject to change.
*Photography permitted only for works with PHOTO OK mark in this exhibition.
*The order of chapters may change at the exhibition venue.
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts is internationally renowned for its collection of Chinese art, which is one of the most prominent in Japan.
The Chinese paintings and calligraphic works are mainly those collected by Abe Fusajiro, who served as president of Toyo Boseki Co., Ltd. Their commanding style drawing a clear line of demarcation from the sumi ink landscapes favored by the Japanese from the Muromachi period onwards and following the conservative mainstream of Chinese painting and calligraphy is notable.
Meanwhile, the core of sculptures and craftworks consists of a collection assembled by Yamaguchi Kenshiro, a businessman from the Kansai region, with an aesthetic sense of his own. Among them, the collection of stone sculpture includes many single statues carved from a single stone and not deriving from a cave. Many of the works can be clearly dated, providing a general view of the history of Chinese sculpture. The fact that Yamaguchi managed to collect Chinese craftwork full of local color in the prewar era when information was scarce is indeed the fruit of a connoisseur’s efforts.
We hope you will enjoy the world-renowned gems of Chinese art substantial in both quality and quantity.
Buddhist art is one of the nuclei of the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts collection. It was Taman Kiyoomi, a lawyer and politician active in Osaka, and his wife and citizen activist, Akeko, who played a notable role in the expansion of the collection of Buddhist art.
Mr. and Mrs. Taman collected an extensive range of Japanese and Oriental art, among which the quality of Buddhist art was remarkable including many Important Cultural Properties and designated important art objects. As exemplified by Standing Bodhisattva, an elegant wooden statue kept in the Taman family for daily worship, Mr. and Mrs. Taman were devout believers in Buddhism. The fact that a sincere world of prayer existed at the core of their collecting enriches the content of their collection.
With the Taman Collection at the center, introduced in this chapter are fine examples of Buddhist art. We hope you will savor the numerous works unique in form and backed by the couple’s piety.
Medieval and early modern art is the star of Japanese art history and also the star of the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts collection. The unique picture scrolls and fascinating folding screens illustrate the depth and diversity of the period during which a rich variety of works and painters were produced.
The archival materials related to Ogata Korin are documents and sketches handed down in the Konishi family, who adopted Korin’s son, Juichiro, and form one of the representative collections of the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts. Though they are no more than sketches, they exhaustively reveal Korin’s temperament as a best-selling designer.
Picture scrolls and folding screens which make us beam simply by glancing at them, Korin’s prodigious sensibility for design mesmerizing even to the people of today——Do immerse yourself in the enchanting world of medieval and early modern art.
The decorative arts in the Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts collection are mainly those collected by a Swiss businessman named Ugo Alfonso Casal, who came to Japan in 1912 (Meiji 45). Composed of lacquerware, inro, netsuke, etc. dating from the latter part of the Edo period to the Meiji era, the Casal Collection amounts to approximately four thousand items, which account for approximately half of the museum collection.
Lacquerware with maki-e design forms the nucleus of the collection. The trousseau which probably belonged to a daimyo family gives us a glimpse of the flamboyance of daimyo culture. The exquisite handwork applied to the inro and netsuke is indeed the quintessence of Japanese decorative arts.
This chapter features early modern decorative arts which attract the attention of the entire world. Not only through the ingenious workmanship but also through the numerous playful designs, you should be able to become more familiar with the “stylish” aesthetics of the people of early modern times.
Dogs, a painting by Japanese-style painter Hashimoto Kansetsu, was the first work to enter the collection of Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts. This painting was submitted to the Teiten (Imperial Fine Arts Academy Exhibition) held to commemorate the opening of Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts in 1936 (Showa 11) and was purchased by the museum. When the museum initially opened, this painting was “contemporary art.”
Also worthy of special mention is the formation of the Sumitomo Collection composed of fine examples of modern nihonga (Japanese-style paintings). During World War II, when the museum owned few works, the Sumitomo family, who also provided the site for the museum, organized Kansai hoga tenrankai, an exhibition of Japanese paintings by artists active in the Kansai region. The Sumitomo family bore the entire costs for this exhibition and donated the works included there to the museum.
From the point of view that Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts owns and exhibits not only antiques but also modern and contemporary art, it could be called the first hybrid public art museum to be inaugurated in Japan. This two-way style is precisely the feature and immense charm of Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts.
Introduced in this chapter are masterpieces of modern art. Please enjoy the works reminiscing how, though they are by artists who have now become masters, they were the latest works by then-active artists in those days.
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