Museum tour in English: paintings of beautiful women at the Yamatane Museum of Art (Sept. 22)

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Uemura Shōen, Firefly, Color on Silk, Taishō Period, 1913, Yamatane Museum of Art

(UPDATE: THIS TOUR IS NOW FULL.) Please join me at the Yamatane Museum of Art in Tokyo on Friday Sept. 22 at 10:30 am, when I’ll give a guided tour in English of the exhibition, Uemura Shōen and Quintessential Binjinga, Paintings of Beautiful Women. The tour is by reservation only, will last about an hour and is free with regular museum admission (1,000 yen for adults).

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Japan through top-class works of art. One highlight will be the the chance to see the museum’s full collection of  paintings by Uemura Shōen (1875-1949), the first female artist to be awarded the Order of Culture and one of just two women who served as official artist to the Imperial Household. Numbering 18 works in total — all of which will be on display — the Yamatane’s collection of Shōen paintings is one of the best in Japan. We’ll also see paintings of beautiful women by many other artists, including Hishida Shunsō (1874-1911), Itō Shinsui (1898-1972), Kataoka Tamako (1905-2008) and Hashimoto Meiji (1904-1991).

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Hashimoto Meiji, Maiko, Apprentice Geisha, in Autumn, Color on Paper, Shōwa Period, 1976, Yamatane Museum of Art

In addition to paintings, we’ll view beautiful woodblock prints, including examples by famous artists such as Kitagawa Utamaro as well as an exceptional group of prints that have never before been publicly displayed. Borrowed especially for this exhibition, this private collection includes prints from Thirty-Two Aspects of Customs and Manners, one of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s true masterpieces.

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Kitagawa Utamaro, Seven Beauties of the Gay Quarters: Shinohara of the Tsuruya, Large Format (Ōban) Polychrome Woodblock Print (Nishiki-e) on Paper, Edo Period, c. 1794-95, Yamatane Museum of Art.  (On display 8/29-9/24)

If you’ve been on my museum tours before, you know they are lively and informal. I try to keep keep things accessible for total beginners while offering new information and insights for those who may be already deep into the subject matter. Most of the paintings we’ll see are Nihonga so I’ll be sure to offer some helpful background on this category of Japanese painting. The tour is during regular museum hours, so we’ll be using headsets connected wirelessly to my microphone. This should allow everyone to hear well without our talk disturbing other visitors.

This tour is limited to 25 people (the number of headsets available). UPDATE: Tour filled the first day, but if you’re interested in going on a wait list, please let me know either through the contact page on this blog or by sending an email to gordenkeralice(at)

The Yamatane Museum of Art is located at 3-12-36 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, and is about a 10 minute walk from Ebisu Station (use the West Exit if you’re coming on JR; Exit 2 if you’re coming on the Hibiya subway line). There is a map and directions on the museum’s website or use this link to Google Maps.


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1 Response to Museum tour in English: paintings of beautiful women at the Yamatane Museum of Art (Sept. 22)

  1. Anthony says:

    If only I were in Japan to take part in this tour. This is one of my favourite topics. Have a great day Alice.

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