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Past Exhibition

Special Exhibition Commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the Yamatane Museum of Art:
Uemura Shōen and Shōkō
―The World of Bijinga and Kachōga, Paintings of Beautiful Women and Birds and Flowers
【開館55周年記念特別展】 上村松園・松篁 ―美人画と花鳥画の世界―

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5 February (Sat.) 2022– 17 April (Sun.) 2022
(Closed on 22 March and on Mondays, except for 21 March)

Hours: Weekdays: 10 am – 4 pm (Last admission at 3:30 pm)
Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays: 10 am – 5 pm (Last admission at 4:30 pm)

Admission Fees: Adults: 1,300 yen; middle school and younger children: free of charge (but must be accompanied by an adult)
Disability ID holders and one person accompanying them: 1,100 yen
*Discount for those who are wearing kimono: Discount of 200 yen for adults

Spring Student Discount: University and high school students: 1,000 yen → 500 yen

Organized by: Yamatane Museum of Art and Nikkei Inc.

Highlights of the Exhibition
Uemura Shōen
Uemura Shōen, Firefly. Color on Silk, Taisho Period, 1913; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Composing a Poem. Color on Silk, Showa Period, 1942; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Listening to a Cuckoo's Call. Color on Silk, Showa Period, 1948; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōen, Snowy Day. Color on Silk, Showa Period, 1948; Yamatane Museum of Art
etc.
Uemura Shōkō
Uemura Shōkō, Flowers and Birds of Japan. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1970; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōkō, Plovers. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1976; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōkō, Snowy Herons. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1977; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōkō, Snow on Bamboo Leaves. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1977; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Shōkō, Dove in Spring. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1980; Yamatane Museum of Art
etc.
Kaburaki Kiyokata, Agalloch Pillow. Color on Silk, Showa Period, 1936; Yamatane Museum of Art
Itō Shinsui, Portrait of a Lady. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1957; Yamatane Museum of Art
Uemura Atsushi, Snow Geese. Color on Paper, Showa Period, 1974; Yamatane Museum of Art

Approximately 60 masterpieces from Yamatane Collection are on display during the above period.

Exhibition Overview

The Yamatane Museum of Art, which opened in 1966 as Japan’s first art museum specializing in Nihonga, celebrates its fifty-fifth anniversary in 2021. To commemorate that milestone, we have been holding special exhibitions throughout the year. The finale of that series is an exhibition of the work of Uemura Shōen (1875-1949), a nihonga artist who had close ties with our museum, and her eldest son, Uemura Shōkō (1902-2001), who would be 120 years old this year.

Uemura Shōen, a female artist famed for her bijinga (paintings of beautiful women), depicted women of elegant grace throughout her life. Born and raised in Kyoto, she studied at the Kyoto Prefectural Art School★ and with Suzuki Shōnen, then with Kōno Bairei and Takeuchi Seihō. She quickly distinguished herself and showed her paintings of women with themes taken from Edo- and Meiji-period manners and customs and the Chinese and Japanese classics in many exhibitions, including the Bunten (Ministry of Education Exhibition) and Teiten (Imperial Art Exhibition).  Highly regarded for her bijinga, she became in 1948, the first woman to be awarded the Order of Culture. Our museum’s founder and first director, Yamazaki Taneji, was on friendly terms with Shōen and collected her works. The museum now owns eighteen of her paintings, including the masterpieces Firefly, Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta, and Feathered Snow. They comprise what is regarded as the foremost of Shōen collections.

Uemura Shōkō, Shōen’s eldest son, excelled at kachōga (bird-and-flower paintings). He too was born and raised in Kyoto; he studied at the Kyoto City College of Painting (KCCP) ★and also with Nishiyama Suishō. After mainly showing his work at the official exhibitions, in 1948 he organized the Sōzō Bijutsu Fine Art Society (now the  SOGA-kai Association of Japanese Painting) and was active in it. He joined the faculty of the Kyoto City University of Fine Arts★ in 1953, became a member of the Japan Art Academy in 1981, and was awarded the Order of Culture in 1984. He continued to paint refined, elegant images of birds and flowers, with realism as their core, while leading the Kyoto art world.

This exhibition will present the eighteen bijinga by Shōen and nine bird-and-flower paintings by Shōkō in our collection, showing them together for the first time. In addition to nihonga by mother and child, this special exhibition includes bijinga by Kaburaki Kiyokata and Itō Shinsui, Shōen’s contemporaries, paintings by Shōkō’s eldest son Uemura Atsushi, and other superb works by artists active at the same time as Shōen or Shōkō. We hope you will enjoy this gorgeous and elegant world of bijinga and bird-and-flower paintings.

★ Now Kyoto City University of Arts.
*All works are the property of the Yamatane Museum of Art.


  • Uemura Shōen, Firefly.

  • Uemura Shōen, Dressed for Spring.

  • Uemura Shōen, Scene from the Noh Play Kinuta.

  • Uemura Shōen, Fragrance of Spring.

  • Uemura Shōen, Feathered Snow.

  • Uemura Shōkō, White Peacock.
    © Atsushi Uemura 2021 /JAA2100291
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