[image] Textbook Case TOKYO—One of Japan’s best art collections was finally unveiled last fall. The Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, the country’s most prestigious art institution, opened an $86 million museum to showcase its 45,000-piece collection. The school, established in 1887, has amassed some of the most famous Japanese artworks, including Hoagie Kanko’s Avalokitesvara as a Merciful Mother (1888) and Salmon (ca. 1877), an oil painting by Yuichi Takahashi. The collection is an assemblage of works by leading artists who have either studied or taught at the university. The show’s slogan is “You have seen them. In textbooks.” A small 1919 lacquer box with a design of flowering plants, birds, and animals was a graduation assignment by Gonroku Matsuda, who later was declared a living national treasure. Seiki Kuroda, known for Woman (In the Kitchen) (1892), was the first professor in the university’s Western-style painting department. Some 150 items are currently on view in the museum’s inaugural exhibition, which runs through the fifth of this month. Although the university has a small acquisitions budget, “we are sure that the collection will expand further,” says Reiichi Noguchi, associate curator of the museum. The collection will be augmented by purchases and donations of work by the school’s now famous students. The new University Art Museum and the Tokyo National Museum’s annex, which also recently opened, are the latest additions to exhibition space in Tokyo’s Ueno district. The Tokyo National Museum previously renovated another annex, and the two important other Ueno-based facilities—the National Museum of Western Art and the National Science Museum—have both enlarged their buildings within the past two years. —Kay Itoi [image] Hogai Kano’s Avalokitsvara as a Merciful Mother, 1888, at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music’s new museum.