Kasama Nichido Museum of Art:English
On the first floor of the main building are located the museum shop and the Jin and Rinko Hasegawa Memorial Room, dedicated to the museum's founders. In the memorial room are portraits of the founders painted by various artists and other items that had special significance or were especially treasured by them. There is also a room dedicated to drawings. In the museum shop visitors will find a variety of original goods based on works from the museum collection along with a line of typical museum goods and publications.
In the 2nd floor galleries are displayed the museum's main works from modern and contemporary foreign art. The modern art begins with the father of Impressionism, CIaude Monet, the pointillist Seurat and also a small but fine work by the great Post-Impressionist Van Gogh. There are works by Degas, Renoir, the Intimist Bonnard, the man who pointed the way for contemporary art, Matisse, and the man who sparked the 20th century revolution in aesthetics, Picasso, and representative Cubist works. Particularly noteworthy is the substantial collection of artists from the "Ecole de Paris" which blossomed in the brief years between the two WorId Wars, including Chagall, Laurencin, Soutine and Foujita, Lhote, Leger, Buffet and Poliakoff.
In the west wing are displayed Japanese works from the modern into the contemporary period.
Special mention should be made of palette paintings by Japanese oil painters. This unique collection arose from the story that Utrillo once sent the art dealer Petridese a painting done on one of his well-used palettes. Jin Hasegawa asked many of the artists with whom he had long acquaintances to do paintings on their old palettes in this same way, resulting in a collection that now exceeds 340 works. These palette paintings show not only the artist's accustomed array of colors but also an impromptu painting on one of the artist's favorite themes. With their varied subjects from flowers, nudes, landscapes and figure studies to works incorporating the thumb hole in often humorous ways. these palette paintings are a boundless source of enjoyment. There is also much to be learned about the secrets of an artist's working method from the way the colors are arrayed on these old palettes.
The East Wing is another face of the Kasama Nichido Museum of Art that reflects our positive approach to the future. Here, the museum organizes special exhibitions at a pace of about five a year covering a wide range of genre from Western painting, prints and Nihon-ga painting, to the crafts of pottery and glass, plus collections of photography and dolls.
To accommodate these exhibitions, the 1st floor gallery consists of movable partitions for painting exhibitions, while the 2nd floor features large glass-enclosed wall cases suitable for the display of Nihon-ga scroll and screen paintings and works of the various crafts. On the 3rd floor visitors can relax on the terrace or at the "Cafe de L'aube." In the galleries of the East Wing visitors will also find sculptures by Henry Moore, Giacometti, Manzu and Calder, each providing distinctive points for contemplation around the galleries.
The Outdoor Sculpture Garden
In May of 1981, a tract of land behind the Main Building and West Wing of the museum extending part way up the hill that becomes Sashiroyama Park, was opened up to form the Outdoor Sculpture Garden. At present, 19 works of sculpture stand in the garden, all of which are masterworks by representative Japanese sculptors in the figurative genre. Standing in fascinating harmony with the seasonal beauties of the natural surroundings, are a rich array of pieces including Yoshi Kinouchi's Homage to the Aegean Sea, Shin Hongo's Figure of Winter, Takashi Shimizu's Meditation, Yoshitatsu Yanagihara's Milestone-Crow, Yasutake Funakoshi's Harano-jo Castle, Toshio Yodoi's Summer, Driftwood and Woman, Kazuo Kikuchi's Flow, Kai Itoh's Woman in Swimsuit Show, and others. For a change of atmosphere while perusing the museum's galleries, let us suggest that you enjoy a stroll along the gentle slopes of the sculpture garden's paths.
Since its opening in 1972, this museum has focused particularly on the early development of Western style oil painting in Japan from a number, of different perspectives. In this sense, we consider this collection of busts an important part of our holdings and we are gratified to say that it has been appreciated greatly by the museum-going public as well. We hope visitors will enjoy it along with our collection of modern sculpture by European masters.
In addition to the sculptures in the Outdoor Sculpture Garden, the museum has assembled a substantial collection of busts of noted painters. Displayed opposite the main entrance of the West Wing are busts of prominent artists who played important historical roles in the establishment of the school of Western style oil painting in Japan. They include busts of Heizo Kanayama, Hiromitsu Nakazawa, Ken-ichi Nakamura and Hisashi Tsuji by Saburo Yoshida, Ryusei Kishida and Ryuzaburo Umehara by Hiroatsu Takada, Takeji Fujishima by Shin Hongo, Saburo Miyamoto by Churyo Sato, Takeshi Hayashi by Kai Itoh, Saburosuke Okada by Kyukei Yoshida, Seiichi Hara by Tsuneo Nishi, Eisaku Wada by Shigeru Chino and Kinosuke Ebihara by Toshihito Hosono.