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About the museum

SEIJI TOGO MEMORIAL SOMPO JAPAN NIPPONKOA MUSEUM OF ART has been exhibiting Japanese and foreign artworks for over a quarter of a century since opening its doors in July 1976.

The idea to open an art museum blossomed from The Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., one of the forerunner companies of the present Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. As part of its contribution to cultural improvement, Yasuda Fire aspired to provide a venue for enjoying artworks. Upon learning of this idea, Seiji Togo, who was closely associated with the company, offered to donate his collection. As the name of the original museum “SEIJI TOGO ART MUSEUM” suggests, the museum was initially intended to display mainly the works of this noted artist.

Togo, with his unique representations of women and ability to take a variety of actions, left a significant mark in the history of Western painting. Beginning in the 1930s, Togo produced a series of designs for brochures, souvenirs and other items for the forerunner company. In particular, the calendar featuring the works of Togo has a strong loyal fan base even to this very day. When Togo passed away in 1978, 156 of his own works as well as his collection of 189 works of other artists were bequeathed to the museum and formed the core of its holdings.

The museum’s collection continued to expand steadily to about 620 pieces (September 2014), including the works of Grandma Moses, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Georges Rouault, Ryusei Kishida, Kayo Yamaguchi, Togyu Okumura, Kaii Higashiyama, as well as works that received our Grand Prix Award and Outstanding Rising Artists Award and the Grand Prix Award of the public entry competition FACE.

Furthermore, the works on display were dramatically enhanced with the addition of Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in October 1987, Paul Gauguin’s “L’Allee des Alyscamps, Arles” in January 1989, and Paul Cezanne’s “Pommes et Serviette” in January 1990.

In recent years, the museum holds special and feature exhibitions about five times a year of the masterpieces of Japanese and foreign contemporary artists, along with an exhibition of the museum’s collection about once a year, for the purpose of arts promotion and international exchanges. Roughly ten works from the museum’s collection are showcased at the special and feature exhibitions.

Despite its central location in the bustle of Shinjuku, the museum on the 42nd floor of a high-rise building offers a calm and serene setting and visitors can enjoy a vast panoramic view of Tokyo from the observation gallery.

Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art Director Ryuta Nakajima