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Director's Message

On the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Toyojiro Hida Director-General Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

My name is Toyojiro Hida and, as of July 1, 2016, I am the director of this museum.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum opened in 1983. What particularly distinguishes this museum is the beauty of its architecture. It was built in 1933 using what was then the newest architectural style as the residence of Prince and Princess Asaka, who had visited and studied in Paris in the 1920s. The interior design, in particular, is consistently decorated in the Art Deco style, from the wall decorations to the furniture to the lighting fixtures. Its modern elegance is breathtaking.

The front entrance hall, the salon, the great dining room, the library: the interior decoration of the major rooms was entrusted to René Lalique and Henri Rapin, two of France's leading decorative artists. Yokichi Gondô, an architect associated with the Imperial Household Ministry's Construction Bureau, was responsible for the building's basic design. The result is that the Former Asaka Residence embodies the Japanese love of the modern West.

Often described as a visionary structure or as an Art Deco work of art, the Former Prince Asaka Residence was designated a national Important Cultural Property in 2015 as a superb building that should be passed on to later generations. Sited within the lavish verdure of its garden, which makes one forget one is in the middle of the city, this building dazzles visitors as a monument to Art Deco in Japan.

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Toyojiro Hida