Photo: PIXTA/ スムース

Shimane Art Museum: One of the most popular places in Matsue to view the sunset

By Laura Payne

The Shimane Art Museum displays works by some of the most famous artists in the world, but it is not simply a building that houses art. Situated on the shore of Lake Shinji, it is one of the most popular places in Matsue to view the sunset. From September to March, the museum stays open for an extra 30 minutes after sundown.

Opened in 1999, the museum has since amassed a collection of 2,000 pieces of art by Hokusai, a renowned ukiyo-e (woodblock prints and paintings) Japanese artist during the Edo period.

International and local artists

The museum’s ever-changing art collection suits various tastes. Photo: Laura Payne

Paintings and woodblock prints by Hokusai, the world-famous mind behind The Great Wave off Kanagawa, are among the museum’s most prized items.

Shimane local and art researcher Nagata Seiji (1951-2018) donated his collection of Hokusai works in 2017, which increased the Shimane Art Museum’s collection of Hokusai to over 2,000 pieces. Key works from this collection are typically displayed in the museum’s permanent exhibits, but special exhibitions occasionally show off more significant portions of Nagata’s donation.

Other attractions in the permanent exhibits include a gallery dedicated to paintings on the theme of water–inspired by Matsue’s nickname, The City of Water. Here, paintings by westerners such as Claude Monet and Japanese artists such as Hishida Shunso are displayed side by side, illustrating how different painters can uniquely interpret a universal topic.

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© GaijinPot

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