Kurashiki Museums: Ohara Museum of Art
Ohara Museum of Art 大原美術館
The Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki is the oldest museum of western art in Japan and opened in 1930. The private museum was the work of local textile entrepreneur Ohara Magosaburo (1880-1943) to commemorate his friend, painter Kojima Torajiro (1881-1929), who had died the previous year. Ohara had sponsored Kojima on art buying trips to Europe and it is the paintings Kojima purchased for Ohara that form the core of the collection.
The museum originally exhibited mainly French painting and sculpture from the 19th and early 20th century but has expanded to include Dutch and Flemish painting of the 17th century and art from the Italian Renaissance. The work of famous artists of the 20th century is now also present in the superb collection along with art from the Mingei Movement (Japanese Folk Art Movement), Islamic art, ancient oriental art, classical art from Greece and Rome, oriental tiles and Chinese paintings.
Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, El Greco, Paul Gauguin, Paul Klee, Jeff Koons, Bernard Leach, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko and Andy Walhol are just some of the artists whose work is on display.
The museum has a shop and presents annual art lectures in summer, as well as Gallery Concerts with world-class musicians taking part.
Access - how to get to the Ohara Museum of Art
Ohara Museum of Art
Tel: 086 422 0055
Hours: 9am-5pm, closed Monday
Admission: Adults 1000 yen; students 600 yen