Museum Concept

10 Initiatives to Become a “Doorway to Art”

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is working to become a “doorway to art” through the 10 initiatives below.

1. Special Exhibitions

The Museum holds large-scale art exhibitions in co-organization with mass communications agencies to provide encounters with art masterpieces from Japan and around the world.

2. Thematic Exhibitions

The Museum plans and holds exhibitions under a common theme each year on the basis of three thematic pillars: “Arts & Life” exhibitions exploring the profound relationship between art and life (way of life; existence), “Contemporary Artist” exhibitions examining the activities of current Japanese artists, and “Arts & Care” exhibitions introducing wide-ranging art creators under the concept of art and care (encountering new values; learning).

3. Collection Exhibitions

Besides exhibitions of calligraphic works in its own collection, the Museum holds exhibitions featuring the collections of other metropolitan museums in Tokyo.

4. Public Entry Exhibitions

The Museum offers exhibitions organized by art groups to showcase their members' works in the fields of painting, sculpture, craft, and calligraphy. Some 250 groups exhibit in 40 exhibitions annually.

5. School Education Exhibitions

In support of the art education programs of school boards, high schools, and universities, the Museum holds school education exhibitions that give children, secondary school students, and university students a venue for exhibiting their artworks.

6. Public Entry Exhibition “Activation Program”

(1) Ueno Artist Project
Contemporary artists who have displayed excellence in their activities in art groups are selected under a theme and featured in an exhibition. The exhibitions focus on art and calligraphy in alternate years.

(2) Group Show of Contemporary Artists
To support contemporary artists in their pursuit of new art horizons, artist groups are invited to submit proposals for exhibitions exploring the Museum’s distinctive galleries. The proposed exhibitions are realized in close collaboration between curators and the selected group’s members.

7. Art Communication Programs

The Museum maintains an open “doorway to art” through a range of programs, including the “Tobira Project” undertaken in conjunction with Tokyo University of the Arts, “Communication Programs” linked with exhibitions, and “Access Programs” for people with disabilities. The Museum is also partnered with other cultural facilities in Ueno Park to enable richer museum experiences, through the “Museum Start ‘iUeno’” project held in conjunction with the Arts Council Tokyo and Tokyo University of the Arts.

(1) Tobira Project
In conjunction with Tokyo University of the Arts, the Museum has citizens participate in forming an open, active, museum-based art community. Art communicators (“Tobira”), selected by public invitation, take a role in mediating for the art museum and its cultural assets. Activities unfold through a repeated cycle of learning and actual application.

(2) Museum Start “iUeno”
A program, undertaken in partnership with nine cultural facilities in Ueno Park, aimed at promoting easier recognition of the value of Ueno’s cultural assets and activities, and helping children make their “museum debut.” The two programs “iUeno School” and “iUeno Family” aid children who face obstacles in using museums, such as through “Museum Trip” invitations.

(3) Creative Ageing Zuttobi
We provide older adults with participatory programs, aiming to build a society where older adults can maintain a sense of social connection and well-being.

(4) Educational Outreach Programs

①Special Day for People with Disabilities
A special day is held on a pre-registration basis once during every Special Exhibition, so that people with disabilities can view artworks safely and comfortably. The viewing events are conducted by art communicators (“Tobira”), who greet the participants and assist them in seeing the exhibition.

②Museum-School Connection
Groups visiting as a school class or activity are welcomed on a daily basis. Other activities include holding workshops for teachers, assisting with workshops for specialists, and offering internships.

③Exhibition-related Programs
Programs are offered that enhance the viewer’s experience of the exhibition. They include lectures, workshops, and gallery talks.

④Architecture Tour
Walking tours of the Museum’s architecture are held regularly. Guided by art communicators, the tours promote familiarity with the Museum and effective use of its facilities.

⑤Other Endeavors
The holding of Kids Day and publication of Junior Guides. Research activities, such as holding forums and engaging in archiving projects related to art communication.

8. Sato Keitaro Memorial Lounge

A lounge named after Sato Keitaro, who contributed to the founding of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Services are available for accessing information about exhibitions at Tokyo art museums. Every year, the Museum’s history is displayed under a selected theme. Archive materials exhibitions are also held.

9. Library and Archives

Possessing some 50,000 reference books, magazines and art exhibition catalogues, and 6,000 archive materials related to the Museum, the Library is open to the public as a reading room.

10. Museum Shop, Restaurants and Cafe

The Museum Shop offers fun items that impart richness to everyday living. Visitors can choose from three restaurants for relaxing in comfort: a main dining area, grand restaurant, and cafe.