Collection Exhibitions

At the Zoo — From the Tokyo Metropolitan Collection and Other Collections

November 16 (Thu), 2023 – January 8 (Mon-holiday), 2024

What kind of a place is a zoo for us human beings? What do we go there hoping to get, and what do we get that we take back with us?
The facility familiarly known today as a “zoo” (Zoological Garden), where various animals are raised and kept within enclosures for public exhibition, originated in Europe in the late 18th century. Japan’s first zoo was founded in 1882 in Ueno. The zoos founded thereafter in all parts of the country continue now to draw numerous visitors while changing and adapting to the times.
This exhibition displays zoo-related artworks and materials from the collections of the Tokyo Metropolitan museums, other organizations, and individuals with a focus on Japan’s oldest zoo, the Ueno Zoo next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
As you tour the exhibition, viewing fragments of the memories dwelling in zoos, we hope you will have opportunity to look afresh at the relationship developing between humans and animals in this place, the zoo, since early modern times.

Major works

Major works
  • SHOSAI Ikkei, Large Crowds Visiting the Exposition, Motoshoheizaka, 1872, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

  • TANAKA Yoshio, MOGAMI Kokichi "Catalogue of The Museum's Exhibits, Animal Section, Part 1", 1877, Tokyo National Museum

  • NAKAJIMA Kozan, Blakiston's Fish Owl, "The Museum's Sketches of Animals", 1885, Tokyo National Museum

  • Zoo Sugoroku Board, Late 19th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum

  • Former Collection, Tai Masatada, Materials Related to Tokyo City Zoos, 1920s-1930s, Private collection

  • KAYAMA Matazo, Giraffe, 1960, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo

  • AIGASA Masayoshi, At the Zoo, In Front of the Monkey House, 1976, Saihodo gallery

  • SAKE Kota, 2 monkeys, 2020, Collection of the artist




November 16 (Thu), 2023 – January 8 (Mon-holiday), 2024
Gallery B
November 20, December 4, 18, 21 – January 3, 2024
9:30 – 17:30 (Last admission 17:00), November 17, 24, December 1, 8  9:30 – 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)
Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
Collaboration with
Tokyo Metropolitan Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo operated by Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture


Other Exhibitions