The Bridgestone Museum of Art will become the “ARTIZON MUSEUM”-January 2020 Marks the Opening of a New Museum
The Ishibashi Foundation (president and concurrently director of the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Hiroshi) is delighted to announce that the Bridgestone Museum of Art will change its name. The new name will be ARTIZON MUSEUM, a combination of ‘art’ and ‘horizon’, effective July 2019.
The Bridgestone Museum of Art has been closed since May 2015 for the construction of new facilities, and new museum “ARTIZON MUSEUM” will reopen in January 2020. The activities of the ARTIZON MUSEUM will evolve from those offered by the Bridgestone Museum of Art in the past. The change in name represents our determination to chart a new course and realizes the Ishibashi Foundation’s creed, ‘For the welfare and happiness of all mankind’, demonstrating a strong will to become a new museum in both name and substance.
The founder of the Bridgestone Corporation and Ishibashi Foundation, Ishibashi Shojiro, began collecting Japanese Western-style paintings by the artists such as Aoki Shigeru and Fujishima Takeji, during the prewar years, then after the war he set about becoming a serious collector of the Impressionist and other French paintings that had provided models for Western-style artists in Japan to study. Shojiro was an entrepreneur, but was also famous as one of Japan’s leading art collectors, building a vast collection of Western-style paintings by Japanese and Western artists. He felt that, ‘Rather than treasure the collection on my own, I want to create a museum to allow it to be seen by as many people as possible, devoting myself to cultural progress.’ This resulted in the establishment of the Bridgestone Museum of Art that was opened to the public in 1952 on the second floor of the Bridgestone Building in the Kyobashi district of Tokyo. This was before the establishment of the National Museum of Western Art and at the time it was the only art museum in Tokyo presenting a permanent exhibition of French art. In 1956, he established the Ishibashi Foundation, which has inherited Shojiro’s dream and continues to manage the Art Museum to this day. In 2012, the government recognized the public benefit of the foundation and designated it a ‘Public Interest Incorporated Foundation’. The first special exhibition to be held by the Bridgestone Art Museum was entitled Contemporary World Art (1957) and ever since it has also worked actively to present exhibitions of the latest art. In 1962, an exhibition of the Ishibashi Collection was held at the Musée national d’art moderne in Paris to wide acclaim. In recent years it has introduced artists who were hitherto unknown in Japan and held exhibitions pioneering new fields, including: Zao Wou-ki (2004), Prism: Contemporary Australian Art (2006), Debussy, Music and the Arts with the Musée d’Orsay (2012), Gustave Caillebotte (2013), etc. Even after the museum closed for reconstruction in 2015, it organized Tokyo―Paris Masterpieces from the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo―Ishibashi Foundation Collection Exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie (co-organized with the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, 2017); this was the first exhibition of the museum’s collection in France since 1962 and was extremely well received.
The new museum aims to continue its traditions that have continued for over 65 years, while expanding its scope to include antique art works, modern Japanese Western-style paintings, the Impressionists, 20th century art, and contemporary art, aiming to carry out museum activities to create a future for art.
■New Museum Concept
From Collection to CreationThe concept of the Artizon Museum is‘ Experiencing Creativity’. It will be a place dedicated not only to the appreciation of art works, but will also keep providing a venue for the experience and support of creativity from past, present and in future.
The Artizon Museum will be located at the lower section (1F ‒ 6F) of the 23-story ‘Museum Tower Kyobashi’ that will be completed in July 2019. The galleries will comprise of 3 floors, from the 4th to the 6th, an area approximately twice of that of the old museum with the latest lighting and air-conditioning equipment, and will include a gallery for the display of traditional Japanese art. Catering for contemporary art, the ceilings are approximately 4.2m in height and the exhibition floor space per floor is approximately 700m². Every effort will be made to highlight the full attraction of the works and allow visitors to enjoy them in the greatest comfort.
6th Floor Exhibition Gallery (image)
New Antique Artwork Gallery (image)
ARTIZON MUSEUM (image)
「Museum Tower Kyobashi」
to be completed in July 2019
* All drawings produced during the planning stage. Later changes may occur.
■New Museum Name
When the Bridgestone Museum of Art first opened in 1952 to display the Ishibashi collection to the public, it undertook the task of introducing a wide range of current art. The new museum aims to provide an overview of art, both past and present, offering a hint of the dreams and future of art, while offering a venue where people can feel the quickening of creativity.
・Date of Name Change: July 1, 2019 (provisional)
■Why Change the Name Now?
A name change for the museum was first considered approximately 40 years ago. It was decided that with the construction of the new building, this would be a good opportunity for the museum and its activities to make a fresh start in 2020.
The museum’s entrance will move from its present location on Yaesu-dori to Ginza Chuo-dori, imbuing it with a new sense of presence.
The exhibition galleries will cover three floors from the 4th to 6th, offering approximately twice the existing floor space. This will make it possible to hold large, special exhibitions concurrently with collection exhibitions.
The core of the Ishibashi Foundation collection consists of 19th century Impressionist paintings from France, 20th century Western art, Japanese Western-style paintings, a field that developed from Meiji period on in response of Western art, and post World War II abstract paintings. We will expand on the present collection, which consists largely of the Impressionist works, to include antique art, Japanese modern art, 20th century art and contemporary art.
The museum was renamed ‘Artizon Museum’, to reflect the four principles upon which it is based: Diversity, Innovation, Openness and Globalization.
■OVER 10% of the Works in the Opening Exhibition will be New Acquisitions
Based on the original collection belonging to Ishibashi Shojiro, the museum continues to acquire works from a wide range of genres extending from antique artworks to contemporary art. The opening exhibition will utilize the galleries on all 3 floors, presenting approximately 200 works carefully selected from the Ishibashi Foundation’s collection of 2,800. New acquisitions for the collection will account for more than 10% of the exhibits.
In addition, from April 2020, we plan to hold the homecoming exhibition of the Japanese exhibit for the 58th Venice Biennale, ‘Cosmo Eggs’ (curator: Hattori Hiroyuki).
Examples of New Acquisitions
Left: Mary Cassatt, The Sun Bath (After the Bath), 1901, oil on canvas, 74.0 x 93.0 cm
Center: Alberto Giacometti, Yanaihara, 1958, oil on canvas, 92.0 x 73.0 cm
Right: Gino Severini, Trombone Player (Player on the Street), c.1916, oil on canvas, 71.4 x 38.1 cm
■ For further information
Bridgestone Museum of Art, Communications Dept.
7F, Ginza 1-chome East Bldg., 1-19-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104‒0061, Japan
Tel. 03-3563-0241 Fax 03-3561-2130