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1984

  • Work on this object began.

1986

  • Work on this object ended.

2017

2019

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Print, Proposed Elevation for the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan, 1984–1986

This is a Print. It was designed by Fumihiko Maki. It is dated 1984–1986 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Architect Fumihiko Maki’s design for the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto has been called the most “nearly classical” of his works. Originally located in what was once the auxiliary building of the Kyoto Municipal Hall for Industrial Affairs, the museum was established on March 1, 1963 as The Annex Museum of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Seventeen years after the name was officially changed to the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, the old auxiliary building was demolished. Fumihiko Maki was hired to design a new space to house the museum’s collection of works from the 20th century made both in the West and Japan, from the paintings of the Kyoto School to examples of modern Japanese craft.
Maki’s structure, located in the heart of historic Kyoto, exemplifies both his aesthetic and theoretical approach to architecture. The exterior design of the building was kept modest because of its location in a scenic district. A 1.5-meter grid was used for the basic exterior module, a structure whose horizontality and verticality to Maki symbolically represented the combination of past and present, transparency and mass, and the duality of Japanese and Western influences. While the exterior of the structure is made of opaque concrete, wall surfaces of rough and polished marbles in the interior atrium create a reflection of light patterns coming from above.
The sketch by Maki reproduced in this lithographic print reinforces the interplay of solidity and lightness that characterizes his work. The sketch also highlights Maki’s design for the grid-system used in the façade of the building, wherein expanses of gridded concrete are interspersed at irregular intervals with rectangular sections of glass. Utilizing varying tones of blue to articulate the solid walls and a soft yellow to indicate the areas where light would penetrate the building, the sketch corresponds almost exactly to the realized façade. The new steel, glass, and reinforced concrete museum was opened to the public on October 26, 1986.

This object was donated by Lise Friedman. It is credited From Lise, Ceil, and Zoe Friedman in honor of their mother, Mildred Friedman.

It is signed

Signed in graphite, lower right: F. Maki

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, lower left: AP; printed in black ink, lower center: THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, KYOTO 1988

Cite this object as

Print, Proposed Elevation for the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan, 1984–1986; Designed by Fumihiko Maki (Japanese, b. 1928); lithograph on paper; From Lise, Ceil, and Zoe Friedman in honor of their mother, Mildred Friedman; 2017-69-4

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108833479/ |title=Print, Proposed Elevation for the National Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan, 1984–1986 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>