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The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Greeting 60th Anniversary, to Display Monet’s Long Missing “Water Lilies” for 1st Time Since Its Restoration

April 1, 2019 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo has two major features. First, the museum holds the best collection of Western artworks in Asia, allowing visitors to trace the history of Western art from the late Medieval Period to the early 20th century. The other is that the museum’s Main Building, designed by world-renowned architect Le Corbusier, is registered as a World Cultural Heritage site.

The museum is holding a series of exhibitions themed on its basic philosophy in 2019, which marks the 60th anniversary of its founding. Following the ongoing “Le Corbusier and the Age of Purism” exhibition, the museum will hold an exhibition titled “THE MATSUKATA COLLECTION: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey” from June, which will exhibit the museum’s collections of works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin and other master pieces, all collected by businessman Kojiro Matsukata. In the exhibition, the museum will display Monet’s long missing “Water-Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows,” which was found in France in 2016 and donated to the museum later, for the first time in the world after restoration of the work.

Matsukata collected a massive number of artworks, including “Water-Lilies”, in London and Paris over a period of 10 years from 1916 with the aim of establishing a museum of art to introduce Western artworks in Japan. Many of the works were lost because they were sold off or burned in fires. However, the French government returned 375 of the works that remained in Paris to Japan after World War II. It is the National Museum of Western Art that was established to store and exhibit these works.

Special Exhibitions Schedule
-Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA
Le Corbusier and the Age of Purism
Underway through May 19
-Upon the 60th Anniversary of the NMWA
THE MATSUKATA COLLECTION: A One-Hundred-Year Odyssey
June 11-September 23

Audio guidance in English, Chinese and Korean (paid) is provided while free guide apps and tablets in these three languages are also available at some exhibitions.

The museum’s official website: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/

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