Last Tuesday I woke up to rain. So I decided to put on my rain gear and make it a museum day. I took the train to Takebashi station and walked from there. The Imperial Palace grounds are in the same area as the museums, so it made for a scenic walk!

I arrived to the National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT) and was happy to check my umbrella. These stands are free and found at many places in Tokyo. What a fantastic idea! As you can see, the rain kept visitors away – I was the first umbrella.

The Hara Hiromu exhibit has been on my list. Unfortunately this exhibit prohibits photography – but here are some of his designs.






(“May 1” movie poster 1929)

I was incredibly absorbed in this exhibit because of the quantity of work shown! Wall after wall – covered with framed posters, magazine covers, ads and more. There was also a segment on how Hiromu designed his projects by hand (the only way in the 30’s). It’s hard to remember life without computers and imagine all the graphic design work being done without computers. There were a couple of ads that had the full process laid out, start to finish. There was so much work and math involved. I’ve overlooked how important math is in graphics art. Hiromu showed so much creativity and care with each project he received. 


After this exhibit I toured the other floors. There was a small photography exhibit on life in Tokyo during the 60’s. Also, there were several screens on display. The two shown below were hand painted.

Leaving MOMAT I headed to the Kogeikan Crafts Gallery (associated with MOMAT). The path is impeccably gardened and lush with greenery. I didn’t mind the rain too much during the short walk. I imagine during a sunny Spring day this area must be packed with people.

Here is the drive way leading up to the Crafts Gallery.







This gallery has the feel of Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in NYC. Although, as Cooper- Hewitt was once residential, the Crafts Gallery was built in 1977 for the purpose it serves today.









My visit included viewing Kitamura Takeshi: Master of Contemporary Weaving, and there was no photography allowed. This was the only exhibit to view. When I left it was 5pm, the rain had stopped, and I was off to the subway. The day just flew by!