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Looking at Architecture 2022 Encounters with Art Deco Books

The Looking at Architecture exhibition is being held again this year to allow visitors to enjoy the beauty and charms of the Former Residence of Prince Asaka (now the main building of the Teien Art Museum), completed in 1933. In prior years, the exhibition has explored themes related to various aspects of the building. This year’s installment focuses on rare books and periodicals from the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s.

Prince Asaka and Princess Nobuko became enamored with the beauty of Art Deco style while living in France during the peak of the movement. When they decided to construct their own residence in Shirokane after their return to Japan, they commissioned the French interior decorator Henri Rapin to design the interiors of the main rooms, and other designers such as René Lalique to participate in the project, incorporating Art Deco design elements imported directly from France. The residence has been converted into a museum with only minimal modifications to the interior, and retains much of the ambiance of when it was completed.

Considering this background, the museum has assembled a collection of books and magazines on French decorative arts, as well as documents related to the Art Deco Exposition of 1925. This exhibition is organized around rare books dating to the period of the Art Deco movement in the museum's collection, which are displayed in both the main building and annex. The museum will introduce the rich decoration of the Art Deco world through encounters with rare publications from this period, such as photo collections of ornate show windows, magazine issues devoted to the exposition or interior designs, and picture books illustrated with vivid colors.

In the museum's main building, visitors can also experience the residential space recreated with old furniture and furnishings and with the curtains opened to let in natural light. We invite you to take in the architecture and interior design while imagining the residence’s original atmosphere.

Visiting information


Looking at Architecture 2022
Encounters with Art Deco Books


Saturday, 23 April -Sunday, 12 June, 2022

Closed every Monday


Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Main Building & Annex
5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel 050-5541-8600


10:00–18:00 *Last admission at 17:30


Online reservation is recommended for the exhibition.
Reserve Ticket for Your Visit here.

  General Group
Adults General¥1,000 Advance/Group¥800
University students General¥800 Advance/Group¥640
Middle & high school students General¥500 Advance/Group¥400
Senior (65 and over) General¥500 Advance/Group¥400

・Figures in parentheses are group admission fees (for groups of 20 or more).
・Admission is free for elementary and younger students and for middle school students residing in or attending school in Tokyo.
・Admission is free for visitors (and two accompanying persons) with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Rehabilitation Certificate, Mental Disability Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate.
・Admission is free for teacher-led educational visits by Tokyo primary, junior high, and high school students.
Admission is free for seniors (65 and above) on the third Wednesday of each month. Suspended until further notice
This exhibition requires advance reservation

Organized by

Tokyo Metropolitan Government,
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture,
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

With the co-sponsorship of

Toda Corporation,
Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg
Van Cleef & Arpels

Exhibition highlights

  • A page capturing the allure of Art Deco

    This exhibition features approximately 200 rare books and magazines from the 1920s and 1930s, mostly from the museum's collection. Many of these books, journals, documents, and other valuable materials have been used for research purposes, but until now have only been featured in exhibitions in a limited fashion. In the main building, the rare books are arranged in each room in coordination with the Art Deco architecture, while the annex features items displayed alongside explanations, allowing visitors to appreciate the gorgeous and fascinating world of the Art Deco period.

  • Windows onto the seasonal greenery of the garden

    During this exhibition, the museum opens curtains that are usually closed to protect artworks, filling rooms with soft natural light. Enjoying the subtle changes of the space as the day passes is one of the pleasures of Looking at Architecture exhibitions.
    Surrounded by greenery, the museum’s charms differ from season to season. The period of this exhibition from April to June is an excellent time to visit, with pleasant weather and fresh greenery.

  • A perfect opportunity to appreciate the museum building

    One of the highlights of the Looking at Architecture exhibition is the recreation of the residence’s original interior design. Decorations are restored for each room, such as original table settings in the Great Dining Hall. The architecture of the Former Residence of Prince Asaka itself is the highlight of the exhibition, and visitors can fully appreciate the atmospheric details of the building that can be missed during ordinary exhibitions, including the walls, floors, ceilings, fittings, and lighting fixtures.

  • Photography is permitted

    Photography is allowed in both the main building and annex during this exhibition.
    Please follow the rules below and listen to the instructions of staff when taking photos.

      Photography rules
    1. Please refrain from any activity that may disturb others.
    2. Please do not use flash, reflectors, tripods, selfie sticks, or telephoto lenses.
    3. Staff may ask you to refrain from taking photographs due to safety concerns.
    4. Please refrain from taking video.
    5. To avoid the risk of dropping equipment or damaging objects, please do not take photographs from above objects, or lean your body when taking photographs.
    6. Photography is permitted for personal, non-commercial use only. Commercial photography requires advance application.
    7. Please be aware that posting photos on social networking sites may violate the portrait rights of other visitors.
    8. Actions that could damage artworks or the building are prohibited.

Related Programs

  • Programs to be held during the exhibition will be announced at a later time.
    Information will be posted on this page as details become available.

Top row from left:Ensembles Mobiliers, 1926 (Collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum)
Annual book of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts , 1924. (Collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Storeroom of the main building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Middle row from left:Wall painting in the salon of the main building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Encyclopedia of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in the 20th Century, 1927(Collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum)
Anteroom The “Perfume Tower” Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Bottom row from left:Mantelpiece decoration in Salon, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; South-facing rooftop, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum; Salon, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum; Handrail decoration on the Second Staircase, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

All works are in the collection of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.

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