About Sompo Museum of ArtGreeting
The Sompo Museum of Art was opened in 1976 as the Seiji Togo Museum of Art. It was located on the 42nd floor of Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.’s (now Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.) headquarters. As its name implies, the museum was created around items from the personal collection of Seiji Togo, an individual with deep links to Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance. It primarily housed permanent exhibitions of Togo’s works. In 1987, the museum housed Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and had gradually expanded its collection and activities to include planned and special exhibits. With its location providing superb views across the city, the museum had attracted a total of 6 million visitors as of 2019.
In March of 2020, 44 years after it was first established, as a form of social contribution by its parent company, the original museum closed to transfer to a new building in the same area. In April of the same year, the museum’s name was changed to the Sompo Museum of Art and opened to the public in its new six-story location.
The building, with a sculpted shape that was designed to be reminiscent of the art within, features soft curves inspired by Togo’s works. Its entrance makes use of glass to help create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. The front garden has a ceramic tile reproduction of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers series, an example of which is contained in the museum’s collection. Its surroundings feature blue and red flags with the building’s logo, creating a cultural space and art-based landmark in the area.
The museum’s exhibition rooms have been built around white tones to draw attention to the works contained within. The tall ceilings and floors of the second floor’s shop and cafe (open on weekends and public holidays) help create a space where visitors can enjoy the afterglow of their visit.
The museum will continue to act as a communicator of arts and culture in the area through showcasing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, as well as items from Seiji Togo’s collection. It will also continue its community-based initiatives, such as providing educational opportunities for art appreciation to students from Shinjuku ward’s elementary and junior high schools.