page top

Yokohama Museum of Art Collection November 14, 2020 - February 28, 2021
Polyphony: Artists and Yokohama in the 1910s–1960s


ISHIWATA Koitsu "Bankoku-bashi Bridge, Yokohama"(detail)
1931, color woodblock print, 36.5×24.2cm


"Polyphony” is a musical term describing music that consists of multiple, independent melodic and rhythmic voices. In this exhibition, we explore various parts of the art scene based around Yokohama, while turning a metaphorical ear to the voices of artists and the sounds of their creations that emerged and evolved in Yokohama from the 1910s through the 1960s.

Over the 60 years covered by this exhibition, Japan moved through multiple historical eras, from Meiji (1868-1912) to Taisho (1912-1926) to Showa (1926-1989), and the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and World War II brought unthinkable devastation upon many communities. It was a turbulent period for Yokohama as well, with the city twice virtually destroyed and rising once more from the ashes.

An overview of the development of art during these years shows that while Yokohama produced art connected to the Tokyo-based mainstream of art history, it also fostered highly distinctive talents and interpersonal networks unique to a port city with an enterprising and forward-thinking spirit. Yokohama, which has been a portal for Western culture since it began welcoming ships into its harbor, was one of the first places in Japan where Western painting techniques were adopted, notably by the Goseda School in the final years of the Edo Period and the Meiji Era, and became fertile ground for the growth of Western-style painting in Japan. Subsequent art movements arising in Yokohama during the Taisho and Showa eras began with the 1919 formation of the Yokohama Bijutsu Kyokai (Yokohama Art Association), and other organizations supporting art came to be established, while artists’ independent activities also matured. The 1960s saw the emergence of art movements in which one might see the prehistory of Yokohama Museum of Art, which opened in 1989. 

This exhibition, divided into 10 sections, focuses on artists with ties to Yokohama, and by tracing the arc of their verbal testimony, artwork, and creations by other closely related artists, presents a multifaceted view of approximately 60 years of art in and around the city.


"Portrait of Mr. Tsubaki"
oil on canvas, 45.5×33.5cm


"Wind (After a Poem by W.B. Yeats)"
woodblock print, 37.0×26.3cm


"Bankoku-bashi Bridge, Yokohama"
color woodblock print, 36.5×24.2cm


Introduction Admiration for Western Art
Section1: The Formation of Yokohama Bijutsu Kyokai: Kawamura Nobuo and His Circle
Section2: Departing for France
Section3: Recovery from the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923
Section4: The Rise of "Shin-Hanga” Prints: From Kaburaki Kiyokata to Ishiwata Koitsu 
Section5: Yokohama in Retrospect: The World of Kawakami Sumio
Section6: Photography Added to the Yokohama Bijutsu Kyokai Exhibition
Section7: Finding International Acclaim in New York: Okada Kenzo and Isamu Noguchi
Section8: An Avant-Garde Pioneer: Saito Yoshishige
Section9: Western-Style Painters and Sculptor in the Postwar Yokohama Bijutsu Kyokai Exhibition
Section10: The "Artists Today” Exhibition

LIST OF WORKS [1,450KB]    


1.Works of Art That Can Only Be Seen in Yokohama
This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in about 150 carefully selected masterworks that emerged from Yokohama-based activities, or are by artists with ties to the city. Don’t miss a fascinating tale that could be told nowhere else! 

2.Local and Global: Unknown Points of Contact Between Yokohama and Art
This exhibition delves into Yokohama’s unexpected connections to art. We find that it is a city always open to different cultures, with a distinctive mentality of enthusiastically embracing the new. We are sure you will enjoy this exhibition, which focuses on our regional scene while also shedding light on the city’s cosmopolitan international atmosphere.

3.The Last Exhibition before the Museum’s Long-term Closure
Following this exhibition, the Yokohama Museum of Art will close for some two years to undergo a large-scale renovation. Along with the facility, the collection will also enter a long period of rest. Thus, the exhibition will function as a closing show, so please don’t miss this chance to take one last look at the current Yokohama Museum of Art and its collection.


1969(1988, Print)
gelatin silver print, 33.3×49.8cm


"Two Bored Persons"
oil on canvas, 130.5×162.7cm


"Red Cloth and Pitcher"
oil on canvas, 60.6×72.7cm


"Yokohama is my Home Town"
woodblock print, colored by hand, 26.6×20.1cm


oil on canvas, 265.8×198.4cm


SAITO Yoshishige
wood, lacquer, 183.0×122.0cm


OKAMOTO Shinjiro
"Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe, after Van Gogh"
acrylic on canvas, 228.0×182.0cm


DatesNovember 14 (Sat.), 2020 –February 28(Sun.), 2021
Open Hours10:00-18:00
*Last Admission at 17:30.
ClosedThursdays (Except February 11, 2021)
December 29(Tue.), 2020 - January 3(Sun.) and February 12(Fri.), 2021
Organized byYokohama Museum of Art (Yokohama Arts Foundation)


All visitors are required to pre-book timed tickets to visit the exhibition ‟Yokohama Museum of Art Collection.”
*Available payment method is by credit card only.
How to get a refund

University and High school students
Junior high school students100
Children under 12Free

*Visitors with disabilities and one caregiver accompanying them are admitted free of charge. (Please present a certificate at the entrance).
*Free admission for the residents in Yokohama and ages 65 and older on the third Monday of the month (Please present ‟Hamatomo Card”.)
*Group visits and group discounts are not available.
*The ticket for the exhibition ‟TRIALOGUE” also gives admission to Exhibition ‟Yokohama Museum of Art Collection” for the same day.
*Online pre-booking is also required for visitors entitled to free admission (e.g.: Children under 12, visitors with invitation tickets, visitors with disabilities.)
*Booking (including free admission) and ticket sales will be available from 10:00 AM on November 14 (Sat.), 2020 at the ticket office of Yokohama Museum of Art, when there are vacancies in the online timed tickets.

【Museum Entry】
・Please enter within 30 minutes from the booked time.
・Time of entry is controlled, but time of exiting is at visitors’ discretion.
・Re-entry is not permitted.

・Once issued, the ticket cannot be changed, refunded, or reissued.
・Please check our website for the latest information on our opening status.
・Yokohama Museum of Art is taking various countermeasures against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in consideration of the health and safety of our visitors and staff members. Please read ‟Notice to Visitors” to your visit.
▶ Notice to Visitors
・We kindly ask all our visitors to provide contact information at the time of online booking or entering the museum, in order to inform the public health center and other public agencies when necessary.
Please note that we may use visitors’ information provided at the time of booking online.
Visitors purchasing /booking at the ticket office of Yokohama Museum of Art are required to fill out Request for Information. This questionnaire can be downloaded from below and be filled out in advance.
Request for Information [45KB]    

Refunds are available for tickets dated from January 8 until February 28, if you wish to cancel your visit.
Visitors with complimentary tickets do not need to take any actions, if they wish to cancel their visit. 

・For refunds of tickets purchased at the K.K.ETIX DATAFARM
Contact the K.K.ETIX DATAFARM Form
Refund Information

・For refunds of tickets purchased at the Yokohama Museum of Art ticket office, please call the following number: 045-221-0300 (10:00-18:00 / Closed on Thursdays.)  

Welcome to the renewed Yokohama Museum of Art

About cookies

This site uses cookies in order to improve your experience and conduct site analysis.
By clicking “OK,” you agree to the use of cookies on this site. For further information, please see our Privacy Policy.