Matsukata Kojiro

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Entrance plaza at National Museum of Western Art.
In this Japanese name, the family name is Matsukata.

Matsukata Kōjirō (松方 幸次郎, January 17, 1865 - June 24, 1950) was a Japanese businessman and art collector.[1] His collection of French art is the core of Japan's National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) in Ueno, central Tokyo.[2]

Background[change | change source]

Matsukata was the son of Matsukata Masayoshi who was a Prime Minister of Japan during the Meiji Period.[3]

Career[change | change source]

Matsukata became president of Kawasaki Shipbuilding Company (Kawasaki Shōzō) in 1896.[4]

Art collecting[change | change source]

Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" near the entrance of the National Museum of Western Art.

Masukata bought thousands of Western paintings and sculpture including Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" and "Gates of Hell." The Rodin sculptures in the NMWA entrance plaza were made from the same original casting as at the Rodin Museum in France.[5] In fact, Matsukata actually paid for the best Rodin castings in France today.[6]

Some works collected by Matsukata are today in the French national collection of art.[7]

Matsukata's art collection was first seen by the Japanese public in 1959.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Matsukata Kōjirō," Japan Encyclopedia, p. 343.
  2. National Museum of Western Art (NMWA), Matsukata collection; retrieved 2012-11-13.
  3. Louis-Frédéric, "Matsukata Masayoshi," at p. 343.
  4. Greenfield, Liah. (2001). The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth, p. 341.
  5. McChesney, Clara. "Rodin's Tomb a New Meca for Artists of the World; Sculptures Reassembled at Meudon Will Be Opened to Public -- Their Setting Is Beautiful and Impressive," New York Times. August 22, 1926.
  6. Michener, James A. (1983). The Floating World, p. 244.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Falk, Ray. "French Art in Tokyo," New York Times. June 21, 1959.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo at Wikimedia Commons