While temporarily staying in Tatebayashi, a city in Gunma Prefecture, I took the time to visit the Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi. I wasn’t disappointed and it was worth the effort to get there. The post-modern museum designed with glass, concrete and steel sits in a park like setting surrounded by landscaped grounds. The exterior glass walls let in the light and the surrounding landscape grounds create an airy relaxing feeling inside. The general price of admission for many Japanese museums range from anywhere from 650 to 1200 Yen. When told the price was a mere 200 Yen, I was very surprised. I thought this is a real bargain!
When it comes to appreciating Western art, Japan takes the cake. Japan must have the most extensive collection of Western art in the world. On my visit, there was a special exhibit from the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, which has temporarily closed for remodeling. Here is just a smattering of the artworks on display when you enter the gallery:
Landscape, Constant Troyon (1810-1865)
The Church and the Farm at Eragny 1884
Couple Reading 1877
The Girl with Long Hair on a Stool
Woman with a Bulldog 1914
Juefosse, the Effect in the Late Afternoon
1884 Claude Monet
Water Lilies (Nympheas)
Anywhere out of the world 1015
Girl with a Doll 1923
Saint Sebastian 1910
(St. Sebastian is pierced with two arrows, one stuck in his right thigh and the other in his right chest. Another arrow lies embedded in the tree trunk. His hands are tied behind his back. Except for the cloth that covers his private parts, he is naked. His head is resting against his right side and he is leaning against a tree.)
There was a sculpture piece by Ossip Zadkine titled ‘Van Gogh Walking through Fields’1956 and a piece by Auguste Rodin titled ‘The sculptor and his Muse’ 1890.
Summer in Aasgaardstrand 1890
Follies (Los Disparates) 1815 – 24
Francisco de Goya
The gallery opens up to another gallery featuring for example the works of Miro, Picasso, Oskar Kokoschka, Wassily Kandinsky, Matisse, and featuring a sculpture piece by Barbara Hepworth titled Helicoids in Sphere 1938.
Here are some of the pieces:
Ubu Rex 1966
Joan Miro (1893-1983)
Fishes, bottle and Compote (La petite cuisine) 1922
The Dreaming Boys 1908
Circus (1) Frontispiece 1967
Beauty viewing the moon
And there were several galleries featuring the works of past and contemporary Japanese artists. Here’s a smattering of the artists on display:
Napping Model 1903 (a Japanese nude)
Sea at Brehat
Sunset behind a Prison 1919
Portrait of a Woman 1927
Slum Lords Rich on Our Misery 1965
Black Agitator 1965
The Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi has a gallery dedicated to the stylized animal sculptures of Francois Pompon, a former assistant of Rodin, and a sculptor in his own right. He is famous for his stylized polar bears. There’s also a bronze sculpture of Cosette 1888 by him and a Weathervane Cock. On display in the same gallery were sculpture pieces by August Rodin, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, and Aristide Maillol.
Here they are:
Head of Balzac (H)
The Monument for Adam Mickiewicz 1928
The Three Polish
Description: The middle muse is embracing the other two muses. The outer two have joined their left hands. They are looking up. Their expressions are sorrowful.
The birth of Venus 1918
I finished my visit with a look around in the Museum shop and a light supper in the Il Cornetto, the museum restaurant. It was a fitting end to a brief stay in Tatebayashi and no doubt the visit lifted my spirits!
Originally posted on ThingsAsian.