Ohara Museum of Art

See the Masters of Western Art in This Unlikely Destination

japan‘s oldest private museum of Western art, the Ohara Museum of Art, is a hidden gem located in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. This striking museum is housed in a magnificent building that resembles ancient Roman or Greek architecture, nestled behind a lush plant-covered stone wall. With its impressive collection of masterpieces from renowned artists such as El Greco, Monet, Gauguin, and Picasso, as well as a diverse range of modern and contemporary Japanese and Western art, the Ohara Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art lovers.

The Ohara Museum of Art consists of four facilities: the Main Hall, Annex, Crafts and Asian Art Gallery, and the provisionally named Shin-Koshima Hall. Each facility offers a unique experience and showcases different aspects of the museum’s extensive collection. The Main Hall is the heart of the museum, housing the permanent collection, which can be enjoyed by visitors throughout the year. Here, you can admire iconic works by El Greco, Monet, Picasso, Pollack, Jasper Johns, and many other celebrated artists.

In addition to the Main Hall, the Annex features a wide range of modern and contemporary Japanese and Western art. This section of the museum allows visitors to explore the evolution of art over time and appreciate the diverse styles and techniques employed by artists from different eras. From abstract expressionism to pop art, the Annex offers a comprehensive overview of the art world’s evolution.

The Crafts and Asian Art Gallery is dedicated to showcasing traditional craftsmanship and the influence of Asian art on Western artists. Here, you can marvel at delicate porcelain, intricate lacquerware, and exquisite textiles from Japan and other Asian countries. This section of the museum highlights the cross-cultural exchange of artistic ideas and techniques, providing a deeper understanding of the global art landscape.

As you explore the Ohara Museum of Art, you’ll also have the opportunity to discover the works of leading folk artists and valuable antiques from Egypt and Asia. These lesser-known treasures add a unique dimension to the museum’s collection, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of different regions.

While the art collection itself is undoubtedly the main attraction, the Ohara Museum of Art also boasts stunning gardens and unique architecture that enhance the overall experience. The adjacent gardens provide a serene and picturesque backdrop, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and admire the carefully manicured landscapes, tranquil ponds, and vibrant floral displays.

The museum’s architecture is a work of art in itself. The ancient Rome or Greek-inspired building stands as a testament to the timeless beauty of classical design. The intricate details and grandeur of the structure make it a sight to behold, and it perfectly complements the artworks housed within its walls.

To make the most of your visit to the Ohara Museum of Art, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the museum shop. Here, you can find exclusive goods inspired by the museum’s collection, including postcards, art books, and tote bags. These souvenirs are not only a reminder of your visit but also a way to support the museum and its ongoing efforts to preserve and promote Western art in Japan.

After immersing yourself in the world of art, take a moment to relax and reflect at the quaint coffee shop called El Greco. Named after the renowned Spanish painter, this cozy cafe offers a selection of beverages and snacks, allowing you to unwind and savor the artistic ambiance of the museum.

Getting to the Ohara Museum of Art is relatively easy. From JR Okayama Station, you can take either the JR Sanyo Line or the JR Hakubi Line to JR Kurashiki Station. From there, it’s just a 15-minute walk to the museum. The journey itself is an opportunity to appreciate the scenic beauty of Okayama Prefecture, with its picturesque landscapes and charming rural towns.

In conclusion, the Ohara Museum of Art is a true art lover’s paradise in the center of Kurashiki City. With its impressive collection of Western masterpieces, modern and contemporary Japanese and Western art, and valuable antiques, the museum offers a comprehensive and immersive art experience. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate beauty and creativity, a visit to the Ohara Museum of Art is an unforgettable journey through the world of art.

So, if you find yourself in Okayama Prefecture, make sure to carve out some time to explore this unlikely destination and discover the hidden treasures within the walls of the Ohara Museum of Art. You’ll be amazed by the beauty, diversity, and depth of the artworks on display, and you’ll leave with a greater appreciation for the rich cultural heritage that art represents.

Address And Maps Location:

1-1-15 Chuo, Kurashiki-shi, Okayama-ken

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