Thank you for visiting the Musée Ando à Karuizawa today.
This museum is a space that we have prepared in our beloved Karuizawa with the feeling of inviting you all to our home.
There are times when human beings lose their way at the mercy of destinies beyond their control, or at the mercy of jealousies and greed between human beings, which is human nature.
My wife and I have overcome such problems and suffering by talking with Foujita's cats and girls at home.
Foujita, who gained fame during the Ecole de Paris, was also at the mercy of a number of unexpected circumstances, including separation from loved ones, two wars and jealousy on the part of some people. The dainty cats, girls and noble Virgin and Child that Foujita painted in his later years were painted in the paradise that he had reached when he overcame these difficulties and made France his final home, and for this reason they may be sympathetic to us.
This museum has been designed so that visitors can enjoy Foujita's journey to such a paradise.
We hope that our home, where you are now, will be a place where each of you can return home with peace of mind, and we wish you all the best in the future.
Founder and ChairmanYasushi Ando
Musée Ando à Karuizawa is Japan’s—and the world’s—first private art museum devoted exclusively to Tsuguharu Foujita. Founder and chairman Yasushi Ando and his wife devoted years to collecting Foujita's works for display on the walls of their home. A collection that began as an infatuation with Foujita’s paintings of cute cats and little girls now encompasses the entire scope of his career and impresses even Foujita scholars in Japan and the world over with its rich diversity. The Ando Collection permanently installed at Musée Ando à Karuizawa, it is not too much to say, is unsurpassed in quality and scale as a private collection.
Today, Foujita's works are actively traded worldwide, yet Mr. Ando never regarded his paintings as objects of expert evaluation or investment. Rather, they are works he wanted always to admire and cherish. As an investment banking manager, he says, he found the time spent enjoying Foujita’s cute cats and little girls with his family to be the ideal balm after his day in the harsh world of finance. In this way, Foujita's works came to adorn the walls of the Andos’ house one by one.
While feeling blissful and relaxed surrounded by Foujita's paintings, he grew anxious, wondering “What will happen to these works when I die?
Eventually, his thoughts of not wanting them to scatter and be lost fostered an aspiration to build a museum. The road was long from site acquisition to the actual start of construction and, finally, the building’s completion. The corona epidemic made it no easier. Yet, thanks to the cooperation of people who shared the Andos’ eagerness to see their wish come true, the museum successfully achieved its opening.
Visitors are invited to view and enjoy Foujita's artworks without hurry, enveloped in the warm congeniality behind the museum concept—“a museum like the Andos’ home.” It is my wish they will long continue to love Musée Ando à Karuizawa, a museum like no other, displaying Foujita works from early landscapes to late-period religious paintings with a focus on cats and little girls.
Museum DirectorMasami Mizuno,