Monday, 26 October 2009

Bridgestone Art Museum

Yesterday we took a trip in to Kyobashi, near Tokyo station, to go to an exhibition at the Bridgestone Museum. Bridgestone is a translation for the Japanese family name Ishibashi, the founders of the tyre empire. The Ishibashis actually began as tabi makers in Fukuoka - in the north of the main southern island, Kyushu. Tabi are traditional Japanese socks that are either worn with geta {traditional Japanese thongs - in the Australian sense of the word}, or can be rubber soled and worn as sock/shoes. One of the family patriachs decided that with the rubber connection in the tabi making, that they would diversify into tyre production for the newly invented car. In the 1950s they decided to start an art foundation and have been collecting and displaying art ever since.

Their foucus is European art from 1800 or so with particular emphasis on impressionists and modern art. Their artist list is a staggering who's who of post 1800 European art - Rembrant, Monet, Manet, Van Gough, Pissaro, Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Cezanne, Miro, Kandinsky, Gaugin to name some of the more prominent.
They also have pieces of ancient artwork including stunning examples of Greek earthernware and quite a bit of modern and contemporary Japanese art - though their main showplace for this is in Fukuoka.
I have included some photos of some of the postcards I bought - you can see the entire collection on their website, some with audio commentary.
(Just as an aside the mother of the present PM, Hatoyama, is of the main Ishibashi family.)

above Port of Concarneau, Paul Signac
left The Riot, Jean Dubuffet

below O7.06.85 Zao Wou-Ki  


Monet, Twighlight, Venice
I cannot work out why the two above will not go horizontally as they are supposed to....

Okada Saburosuke, Portrait of a Lady (this looks just like the pictures used for the Sapporo beer adds of the 20s and 30s)