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 the Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd. (now Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.) headquarters building. 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 company. It primarily housed a permanent collection of Togo’s works. In 1987, the museum acquired Van Gogh’s painting Sunflowers and gradually expanded its collection and activities to include planned and special exhibits. With its high-rise facility providing superb views across the city, the museum succeeded in attracting a total of six 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 vicinity. In April of the same year, the museum’s name was changed to the Sompo Museum of Art. In May, the museum was opened to the public in its new six-story facility.

The building, with a sculpted shape that was designed to be suggestive 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, one 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 an art-based landmark in the area.

The museum’s exhibition rooms have been designed around white tones to draw attention to the artworks contained within. The high ceilings of the 2nd floor’s gift shop and cafe (open on weekends and public holidays) help create a comfortable space where visitors can enjoy the afterglow of their visit.

The brand image the museum has chosen is to say that “This town has its own Sunflowers.” And it will continue to act as a communicator of arts and culture in the area by showcasing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and art from Seiji Togo’s collection, while also continuing its community-based initiatives, such as providing educational opportunities in art appreciation to students from Shinjuku Ward’s elementary and junior high schools.

Takefumi Umemoto

Director, Sompo Museum of Art