The Musée de l'Orangerie temporarily hosts astonishing collection from Tokyo
The masterpieces from the collection at the Bridgestone Museum of Art
will be on display at the Musée de l’Orangerie
in Pais for the spring/summer 2017 season. The institution in Tokyo owns a large collection of art work by Impressionists,
Expressionists and post-war Abstractionists. The exhibition Tokyo-Paris Masterpieces from Bridgestone Museum of Art, Collection Ishibashi Foundation
will notably give pride of place to works by Claude Monet
, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
, Gustave Caillebotte
, Paul Cézanne
, Henri Matisse
, Pablo Picasso
, Paul Jackson Pollock
and Kazuo Shiraga.
The Ishibashi Foundation Collection comprises of more than 2,600 works. Today the building of the Bridgestone Museum of Art undergoes reconstruction works and part of the collection moves to Paris until Fall 2017.
The Ishibashi Foundation Collection was amassed by three generations of Ishibashi industrialists (whose family name in current transcription translates as a "stone bridge"). Established by Shojiro Ishibashi in the late 1930s, the collection comprises of art works by European and American artists as well as modern Western-style works created after the Meiji Restoration.
Shojiro Ishibashi (1889−1976) took over the running of the family tailoring business at the age of 17. Then he set his sights on manufacturing tires for automobiles. In 1931, he founded the Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (now the Bridgestone Corporation).
Sakamoto Hanjiro stimulated Shoji’s interest in arts. The Western-style painter was his art teacher in elementary school. Sakamoto proposed the young entrepreneur to collect art works by Aoki Shigeru, a remarkably gifted Japanese Impressionist who had died young, at the age of 28.
In addition to Aoki’s paintings, the work of Fujishima Takeji had an important position in Shojiro’s collection.
Fujishima Takeji, Black Fan (1908−1909).
The artist produced this portrait during his stay in Rome. Apparently, the picture reminded him of Europe, since he refused to part with it during his lifetime and kept it in his studio.
Soon Shojiro Ishibashi began to buy Western art works created in the first third of the 20th century. At the same time, he suppressed the outflow of outstanding Japanese works to foreign collections during the postwar recovery period in Japan.
During his trip to the United States in 1950, Shojiro Ishibashi was impressed by the Museum of Modern Art in the center of New York. He immediately decided to redesign the second floor of his new constructing Bridgestone Building in the Kyobashi area of central Tokyo to open a gallery so that people could drop in to view the masterpieces from his collection. On January 8, 1952, Shojiro opened the Bridgestone Gallery (the name changed to the Bridgestone Museum of Art in 1967), which occupied the entire second floor of the new building. Four years later the businessman reckoned that the institution could no longer be his personal property and established the Ishibashi Foundation, to which he contributed almost all artworks collected. These works became the core of the current museum collection.
Above: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mademoiselle Georgette Charpentier assise, 1876,
which illustrates the Tokyo-Paris Masterpieces from Bridgestone Museum of Art, Collection Ishibashi Foundation at the Musée de l’Orangerie.
Today the Bridgestone Museum of Art can boast of the works by artists including Camille Corot, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and others. A special place in the collection has Paul Cezanne’s painting Mont Sainte-Victoire and Château Noir, c.1904−06.
On May 18, 2015, the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation was closed. On its place a new building has been under construction since June 2016 and the Museum reopening is tentatively scheduled for Autumn, 2019. Until then the artworks from the collection are loaned to other institutions.
One of the pivotal points of the exhibition Tokyo-Paris Masterpieces from Bridgestone Museum of Art, Collection Ishibashi Foundation is the permanent link established between the works, their buyers and the history of modern Japan, in order to give visitors background information as to establishing of Ishibashi Foundation.
Exhibition is on display at the Musée de l’Orangerie from 5 April to 21 August 2017.
Written by Vlad Maslow on materials from official websites of the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Bridgestone Museum of Art.