MOMAW Collection

KAWAGUCHI Kigai, A Girl and Seashells, 1934

The collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama originates from 83 works acquired from the Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Art, which opened in 1963 in Wakayama Castle. Since then, over the past half century, the Museum has grown to hold approximately 13,000 works as of 2020.

Wakayama Prefecture has produced many outstanding artists who have left their marks on the history of modern art in Japan, such as Kawaguchi Giwai and Nonase Banka. Since its opening in 1970, the museum has held exhibitions of artists associated with Wakayama area and has enriched its collection of local artists.

Many artists from Wakayama have left their footprints on the history of modern Japanese printmaking, such as HAMAGUCHI Yozo, TANAKA Kyokichi, and ONCHI Koshiro, etc. Since around 1980, the museum has focused on collecting and introducing modern and contemporary prints, and now boasts one of the best collections in Japan. As for foreign prints, the collection includes works by Pablo Picasso and Odilon Redon.

In addition, the “Kansai Artists Series,” special serial exhibitions that began in 1983, led to the acquisition of works by artists active in the avant-garde art movements that emerged in the postwar Kansai region, including the Soudosha (1948; ceramics), the Pan Real Art Association (1948; Japanese painting), the Demokrato Artists Association (1951; panting and prints), and the Gutai Art Association (1954; painting). Since 1989, the museum has been collecting works by artists not only from Japan but also from overseas. Since 1989, the museum’s collection has included artists from Japan and abroad, including Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, and George Segal.

The collection of more than 10,000 works, including Japanese paintings, oil paintings, sculptures, and prints from the Meiji era to the present day, is introduced in special exhibitions and collection galleries.