Reopening of the Kuroda Memorial Hall following renovations
The Kuroda Memorial Hall that stands in one corner of Ueno Park is the Institute’s birthplace. The building where the Hall is now located was built in conjunction with a bequest by the Western-style painter KURODA Seiki, who is revered as ”the father of Japanese modern Western-style painting.” This is the same building in which the Art Research Institute, the predecessor to today’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, was established in 1930. The building houses the Kuroda Memorial Hall, a repository and gallery that showcases KURODA’s career as a painter. In addition to his bequest, KURODA Seiki also donated pieces of his work. These works, which include Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, have been put on public display. In 2000, the Institute took over the building’s role as an exhibition site, and the Institute continued to manage the building until 2007, when the Tokyo National Museum assumed control over its management. Over a period of about 3 years, the building has been earthquake-proofed, and on January 2 the building reopened.
Renovations involved the creation of a new gallery, designated the Special Exhibits Gallery, that seeks to give visitors greater insight into KURODA’s career as a painter. In addition to the works Lakeside and Wisdom, Impression, Sentiment, the gallery now also houses Woman Reading and Maiko Girl, which are works that were previously curated by the Tokyo National Museum. The gallery provides a place in which one can enjoy signature works by KURODA Seiki (the gallery will be open to the public for 2 weeks during the New Year holidays and 2 weeks in the spring and fall). The Kuroda Memorial Hall has exhibited KURODA’s works since its establishment. The Hall will be open to the public on days when the Tokyo National Museum is open, providing even more opportunities to enjoy KURODA’s works. Exhibitions at the Hall are arranged to allow an overview of KURODA’s career as a painter.
Since the Institute relinquished its control over management of the Kuroda Memorial Hall, it has continued to focus on research into KURODA Seiki, who was closely involved in the Institute’s founding. Volumes on Kuroda that the Institute has published can be perused in the Library on the second floor of the Memorial Hall. In addition, the Institute’s website http://www.tobunken.go.jp/kuroda/index.html offers access to basic information for research into KURODA, such as high-resolution images of his works and the text of the diary he wrote. Please feel free to have a look.