MINGEI - Another Kind of Art

This exhibition features over 140 objects selected by the Director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. The word mingei is used to describe handicrafts made by anonymous craftspeople, emphasizing that crafts use local materials and techniques handed down from generations. The film shown in Gallery 1 highlights craftspeople at work and informs the objects on display in Gallery 2.

Munch: A Retrospective

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is arguably one of the most famous works of art. This is your opportunity to admire it along with a wide variety of the artist’s work: self portraits, self photographs (early selfies), portraits, and landscapes. Other famous works, such as The Kiss and Madonna, are presented in multiple and in different media -- prints and oil paintings.

ArchitectureXPhotography: A Light Existing Only Here

This exhibition is an interesting exploration of the relationship between photography and architecture. Buildings have been the subject of photography from its inception, at first because they are static and later because of photography’s ability to document changes in urban environments. Taken mostly from the museum’s collection, the exhibition demonstrates the early history of architectural photography, then groups various types of architecture by photographer, including some famous sites from around the world.

Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s-1990s

The theme for this exhibition covers quite a bit of ground: societal change in eleven Asian countries as expressed through art. As stated in the exhibition text, this is not art for art’s sake but rather art for the masses, art as critique, art as documentation of change. There are several videos of varying lengths, photographs, sculptures, prints, drawings, paintings and documentation of a variety of performance art.

Georges Rouault L’Œuvre magnifié: L’Art sacré et la modernité

This exhibition showcases Rouault’s depictions of Christ and other religious scenarios with 80+ works, mostly very textured oil paintings and some prints, made from a variety of different print techniques. Seeing several portraits repeating the same characteristics (an elongated oval head with a long nose and large, almond shaped eyes) provide the viewer the opportunity to compare and contrast the paintings, which highlight the remaining variations in the artist’s unique style.

Making the Difference: Vermeer and Dutch Art

A unique opportunity to see nine (out of 35 surviving) original paintings by the Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer. Rather than sprinkling the Vermeer paintings throughout, the Vermeers are grouped together in one beautiful room at the end of the exhibition. The other paintings by 17th century Dutch artists such as Frans Hals, Jan Steen, and Pieter de Hooch are shown in groups: portraits, Biblical scenes, still lifes, and daily life. These paintings serve as context and set the stage to even better admire Vermeer’s artistry and skill.

EXOTIC X MODERN: French Art Deco and inspiration from afar

This exhibition, through a collection of 85 objects, explores the influence of the exotic on the modern Art Deco movement in France. Prints (posters), sculptures, jewelry, clothing, photographs, paintings, and decorative objects are presented to demonstrate the influence of “exotic” foreign lands in Africa and Asia on Art Deco design. Highlights include lacquer pieces by Jean Dunand and sculptures by François Pompon.

Pierre Bonnard, The Never-Ending Summer

Pierre Bonnard was a member of the French artist group called the Nabis (from the Hebrew word navi, meaning prophet). He was also influenced by Japanese art, including ukiyo-e, so much so that he was called le Nabi très japonard. This retrospective of Bonnard’s paintings, prints and photographs are organized by Japanese influence, work in graphic arts, and photographs. His paintings move from emphasizing light and shadow to the influence of impressionism, a focus on intimacy and daily life, to landscapes from Normandy and southern France.

Marcel Duchamp and Japanese Art

Over 150 pieces from the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art provide a retrospective of the work of Marcel Duchamp. Highlights include early portraits, cubism paintings (including Nude Descending a Staircase), readymades (including Bicycle Wheel and Fountain), a replica of The Large Glass, and photographs. The exhibition outlines the artist’s travels, his female persona (Rrose Sélavy), his passion for chess, his production of replicas of his work, and his final work Étant donnés. The exhibition ends with about 10 pieces of Japanese art, which are presented through the lens of Duchamp’s readymades and reproductions.

Kazuki Umezawa x Taku Obata “Hyper Landscape”

This exhibition includes Kazuki Umezawa’s colorful paintings, video stills and printed images, which completely cover the gallery walls from the 2nd floor gallery to the 4th. The paintings, which include internet images that are pieced together in collage and adorned with brightly colored and glitter acrylic paint. His works continue on the third floor while Taku Obata’s large, wooden statues stand on the 2nd floor and his video plays on the 4th floor.