Aomori Museum of Art ― A Modern Art Museum Inspired by an Ancient Culture

Housing a great collection of artworks by various artists, from the contemporary artist Yoshimoto Nara to Marc Chagall, Aomori Museum of Art is one of the leading modern art museums in Japan. It exhibits the woodblock prints of Shiko Munakata as well as works by the designer of fictitious characters Toru Narita. These three Japanese artists are all from Aomori. Also on display are works by great masters like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Some exhibition rooms in the museum are called “white cubes” because they are enclosed by white plain walls. The largest cube is named Aleko Hall, with four huge paintings by Marc Chagall that were originally created as a backdrop for a ballet performance of “Aleko”. With a height of 19m, length of 21m, and width of 21m, this huge cube is also utilized for piano recitals and other musical events.

The architectural design is inspired by the nearby Sannai Maruyama Site, an archaeological site where ancient people lived in harmony with nature from approximately 3,900 BCE to 2,200 BCE. The site is regarded as one of the biggest settlements of the Jomon era, with more than 800 pit dwellings, countless pieces of pottery and clay figurines found.

At the museum shop, visitors can find a variety of artistic items created by or modeled on the creations of artists associated with Aomori. There is also a cozy restaurant that serves pasta, curry and rice as well as other dishes prepared with local ingredients.