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A Variety of Former Private Collections

Among the works belonging to The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, there are a number of collections which formerly belonged to private individuals. Some are works collected by a private collector or artist with an individual point of view and others are collections of works and reference materials concerning a certain artist.

Shunsuke Matsumoto and Zakkicho

Shunsuke Matsumoto was born in Tokyo in 1912. Having spent his boyhood in Hanamaki and Morioka in Iwate, he went to Tokyo again and became an artist. As an artist, from around 1935 to his death in 1948, Matsumoto painted human figures with his family and himself as his themes. Furthermore, he is known particularly to have painted urban landscapes full of poetic sentiment. While his paintings supported by a refined sensibility reflected the color of the time, they were always brimming with a sense of transparency. Together with Aimitsu, Saburo Aso, and others, he sought a new painting for his own generation and is an important artist that cannot be forgotten even today.

An exhibition featuring two artists, Shunsuke Matsumoto and Keiji Shimazaki, was held at The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura in 1958. It was ten years after Matsumoto had died. The achievements of this artist, who had passed away at the young age of thirty-six, were introduced and it proved a significant opportunity to appreciate his accomplishments in a historical context.

Having held the exhibition in 1958, the Museum undertook further research and collected materials on Shunsuke Matsumoto. Zakkicho was a monthly magazine which was published from October 1936 to December 1937. Matsumoto and his wife, Teiko, were involved in the editing. Fifty artists including Aimitsu and Masao Tsuruoka contributed original pictures to this magazine. In 1967, Mrs. Teiko Matsumoto donated altogether 85 works consisting of original pictures contributed as illustrations for Zakkicho, which allude to the friendship among the artists contemporaneous with her husband, and Matsumoto's own drawings plus three oil paintings. We also received a donation of ten oil paintings by Matsumoto from Mr. Shoroku Hatakeyama, a friend from the same district. Both donations form an unparalleled, valuable collection on Shunsuke Matsumoto.

  • Shunsuke Matsumoto, Standing Figure, 1942

    Shunsuke Matsumoto
    Standing Figure

  • Zakkicho, initial number (facsimile edition)

    initial number (facsimile edition)

  • Aimitsu, Work, 1936, gift of Mrs. Teiko Matsumoto.

    gift of Mrs. Teiko Matsumoto

  • Shunsuke Matsumoto, The Bridge (Near Tokyo Station), 1941, gift of Mr. Shoroku Hatakeyama.

    Shunsuke Matsumoto
    The Bridge (Near Tokyo Station)
    gift of Mr. Shoroku Hatakeyama

Kakitsu Uchiyama and Chinese Woodcuts

Woodcuts produced in China in the 1930s and the 1940s are referred to as mokkokuga in Japanese. Kakitsu Uchiyama visited his elder brother Kanzo, who ran a bookstore in China, and held printmaking classes in Shanghai. Through these classes, the Modern Woodcut Movement, which evolved in conjunction with the anti-Japan campaign led by Lu Xun in the 1930s, spread all at once among the young people. Rather than a collector, Uchiyama spent the turbulent years of the Sino-Japanese War together with the younger generation as one of the participants in the movement of the time and brought numerous naïve, powerful prints back to Japan. The exhibition of Chinese woodcuts held out our Museum in 1975 was composed mainly of woodcuts dating from the 1930s to the 1940s, which had been donated to the Museum by Mr. Uchiyama the year before. Thanks to a second donation in 1980, works dating from 1955 to the 1970s were added, making it a collection of altogether 600 Chinese prints. This is an internationally rare collection more or less unparalleled even in China.

  • Wang Renfeng, Funeral, date unknown

    Wang Renfeng
    date unknown

  • Chen Baozhen, Light Before Your Eyes, circa 1932.

    Chen Baozhen
    Light Before Your Eyes
    circa 1932

  • Shao Keping, Professor Lu Xun, 1947

    Shao Keping
    Professor Lu Xun

Hoshun Yamaguchi Library and Drawing

Hoshun Yamaguchi is a nihonga (Japanese-style painting) artist recognized for his achievements in creating contemporary yamato-e during the years before and after World War II. The residence and studio he used to live in near our Museum in Hayama is open to the public as the Hoshun Yamaguchi Memorial Hall. After Yamaguchi's death, in 1985 and 1986, our Museum received donations of approximately 4,300 books and reference materials and approximately 300 sketches formerly belonging to the artist from his wife, Mrs. Haruko Yamaguchi. Among the reference materials were Japanese books and copies implying that Yamaguchi had studied classics and tradition. There were also portfolios of prints such as Jazz by Henri Matisse and Férinaire by André Masson and the art magazine Verve, which not only indicate Yamaguchi's interest in modern French painting but comprise a collection of exceedingly high quality.

Other Private Collections

There are a number of former private collections that characterize our Museum collection.

Regarding prints, to name a few, there are the Mochizuki Collection donated by Tomiaki Mochizuki, who spent the fortune he made by inventing a radar on approximately 400 prints by world-famous masters such as Marc Chagall, Georges Roualt, Odilon Redon, and Pablo Picasso and Japanese artists such as Yozo Hamaguchi, the Misao Mashimo Collection comprising prints contemporaneous with the collector, and the Yasushige Miura Print Collection composed of currently active print artists such as Hitoshi Karasawa.

Regarding nihonga (Japanese-style painting), there is the Murata Collection. Tokuji Murata, who worked as head clerk for Sankei Hara, a wealthy merchant in Yokohama, acquired sketches and letters from artists he was close to such as Shinsui Ito, Kokei Kobayashi, Kanzan Shimomura, and Yukihiko Yasuda. These items were donated to us by his son. There is also a collection assembled by the Japanese-style painter Shoko Kinoshita, who was also a collector of antiques including works by Sotatsu Tawaraya and Kamakura period mandalas. The Munakata Collection features the "Munakata Autograph Book." Hisanori Munakata went to Berlin in the 1920s and brought back German Expressionist works to Japan. His autograph book contains autographs and sketches by artists such as Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, and Wassily Kandinsky. In recent years, we have received a collection of mainly modern Western and Japanese paintings collected by Mr. and Mrs. Kitagawara and the Makoto Kitani Collection of namazu-e (pictures of catfish) and nineteenth century Western prints. These private collections enrich our Museum collection all the more.

  • Kanzan Shimomura, Mountain Path in Shinano, Esquisse, circa 1907, gift of Mr. Kunio Murata.

    Hitoshi Karasawa
    Kronos Chalice
    gift of Mr. Yasushige Miura

  • Sotatsu Tawaraya, Puppy, Edo period, gift of Mrs. Wakako Kinoshita.

    Kanzan Shimomura
    Mountain Path in Shinano, Esquisse
    circa 1907
    gift of Mr. Kunio Murata

  • Sotatsu Tawaraya, Puppy, Edo period, gift of Mrs. Wakako Kinoshita.

    Sotatsu Tawaraya
    Edo period
    gift of Mrs. Wakako Kinoshita

  • Ebisu God Supressing Catfish, 1855, Kitani Collection

    Ebisu God Supressing Catfish
    Kitani Collection