Immerse Yourself in the World of Takehisa Yumeji: 140th Anniversary YUMEJI Exhibition – Taisho Romanticism and the New World

An exhibition on Takehisa Yumeji, a painter who symbolizes Taisho Romanticism, will be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum from June 1 to August 25, 2024. Titled ‘Takehisa Yumeji: Taisho Romanticism and the New World,’ the exhibition commemorates the 140th anniversary of Yumeji’s birth and explores his life from a fresh perspective, based on the latest research.

Born in Okayama Prefecture in 1884, Yumeji developed his unique artistic style through self-study, without any formal art education. He became famous for his lyrical paintings of beautiful women, known as Yumeji style beauties. In addition to his paintings, he pioneered as a graphic designer, designing books and magazine covers, clothing, and various other items in his pursuit of beauty in daily life.

Ninety years after his death, Yumeji’s works remain beloved and continue to be the subject of research. This exhibition explores his life from a fresh perspective, incorporating the latest findings.

The exhibition will feature around 180 artworks, with a focus on pieces from the Yumeji Art Museum collection. Among them are recently unearthed treasures from the mid-Taisho era, like
‘Amaryllis,’ along with a valuable oil painting titled ‘Nude on the West Coast,’ which Yumeji crafted during his time in America. Additionally, the display will include sketchbooks and drawings passed down by a friend who was by Yumeji’s side until the end. These items, some of which have never been shown before, offer a unique glimpse into Yumeji’s world.

This is the first time such a large-scale touring exhibition has been held in a public art museum. The Tokyo venue, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, is known for its Art Deco architecture and is designated as an important cultural property by the government. The main building was once the residence of the Asaka Imperial Family, and it features a variety of decorations that were actually part of their living space, making it the perfect location to immerse yourself in Yumeji’s artistic world.

Facade of the Main Building of Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Essence that Transcends Generations

Also drawing attention is the exhibition catalog featuring designs by Takehisa Yumeji. There are two versions available: a standalone catalog and a boxed set, which includes a booklet. They effectively capture Yumeji’s charm, which is seen as a precursor to the ‘kawaii’ culture. The content includes a comprehensive overview by Masayuki Okabe, Ph.D., (Professor Emeritus at Teikyo University / Special Director of the Gunma Prefectural Museum of Modern Art), along with engaging commentary by curators, making it a compelling read.

■ Catalog (Standalone): ¥2,900 (Including Tax)
The book spans 336 pages and is in B6 format. Its cover features a luxurious French binding style with attached sleeves. The front cover is off-white, while the back cover resembles café latte and showcases selected patterns from Yumeji’s designs for the magazine ‘Wakakusa.’ The attention to detail extends to the endpapers and main text pages, where Yumeji’s illustrations are tastefully incorporated as accents.

■ Catalog (Boxed Set, Including 1 Letter-sized Booklet): ¥4,500 (Including Tax)
The boxes come in four designs: ‘Sakurasou’ (Primrose), ‘Wakakusa’ (Young Grass), ‘Aoi Komichi’ (Blue Path), and ‘Neko’ (Cat). Made from textured paper and assembled by hand, these adhesive boxes can store small items like cards, letters, and stationery, making them perfect for gifts too. The accompanying letter-sized booklet contains 24 sheets, each with a different design on both sides, allowing for single-sheet use by tearing them off individually.

※ Boxes and letter-sized booklets are not sold separately.

Additionally, the flyers for this exhibition come in four different double sided designs. With eight different designs in total, you’ll want to collect them all.

This exhibition is a must-see not only for Yumeji fans but also for creators with an interest in design. Take this opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Takehisa Yumeji’s works and the era of Taisho Romanticism amidst the stunning architecture.

140th Anniversary YUMEJI Exhibition - Takehisa Yumeji: Taisho Romanticism and the New World
Exhibition period: June 1st (Saturday) - August 25th (Sunday)
Closed on Mondays (*Except for public holidays on July 15th and August 12th)
Also closed on July 16th (Tue) and August 13th (Tue)
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (last admission is 30 minutes before closing)



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