Art & Design
Aomori Museum of Art 青森県立美術館
World-class design and Aomori culture
The sleek architecture of the famous Aomori Museum of Art almost threatens to upstage its very own modern art collection. Even so, the star of the show is still the artwork, which offers unique insights into Aomori's culture, heritage and design.
- The museum's striking modern architecture
- Artist Marc Chagall's four giant backdrops from the ballet "Aleko"
- Works by Aomori native Yoshitomo Nara, who has won acclaim for his quirky style
How to Get There
The Aomori Museum of Art is near Shin-Aomori Station and Aomori Station.
While it is some distance from the city center, a trip to the Aomori Museum of Art is well worth your time as it can easily be combined with the historical Sannai Maruyama Jomon Archaeological Site, located just 5 minutes away by foot. By car or taxi, the museum is 10 minutes from JR Shin-Aomori Station, 20 minutes from JR Aomori Station, and about half an hour from Aomori Airport. By bus, it takes 20 minutes from JR Aomori Station.
Local heritage both inside and out
The Aomori Museum of Art was designed by Japanese architect Jun Aoki, who is known for his snazzy series of Louis Vuitton boutiques from New York to Tokyo. For the museum, he took a much more minimalistic approach.
His design was inspired by the Sannai Maruyama Jomon Archaeological Site, which is located near the museum and preserves the remains of a settlement from more than 4,000 years ago.
The museum's location was chosen to showcase the historical connection between art and culture, and it's easy to see why. Take a stroll around the exterior of the museum to fully appreciate its unique design.
Enter the museum and, as you wander through the various collections, observe the design of each exhibition hall. Most of the museum's halls are underground and have been designed to resemble an archaeological site.
A local favorite
The Aomori Museum of Art has, since 2006, lived up to its promise of introducing local Aomori art to the world. Its most iconic symbol is an 8.5-meter tall statue of the Aomori Dog by Aomori-born artist Yoshimoto Nara, whose works have been displayed worldwide.
The permanent collection includes works by local Aomori artists such as woodblock printmaker Shiko Munakata, photographer and playwright Shuji Terayama, and sculptor Toru Narita. There are also works by foreign painters including Henri Matisse, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Pablo Picasso.
Befitting its status as a world-class contemporary art museum, the Aomori Museum of Art also holds temporary exhibitions, as well as concerts, plays, and seminars. Check out what's on by visiting the museum website before your trip.