The museum, also known as the NMWA (National Museum of Western Art), displays works of art created in Europe and America through different periods, from the beginning of the Renaissance, in the 14th century, to the early 20th century.
The beautiful museum evolved from a private art collection, a rich Japanese businessman and son of a Japanese leader, Matsukata Kojiro. The same Kojiro got rich during the first half of the 20th century and accumulated respectable pieces of art. He concentrated mainly on western art, where he acquired wonderful pieces, even before their value were so high. Over time, the man succeeded in realizing his dream and turned his private collection into a national museum concentrating in western art.
By the way, western art, especially in the 19th century, was more influenced by traditional Japanese art, and this is a kind of closure for the western art that Kojiro dreamed, that Japanese people would appreciate in his museum. This also explains why since opening, the museum has been involved in exhibitions, the restoration and preservation of works of art, as well as in the research, education and publication of knowledge relating to western art.
At the entrance to the square building, visitors enter directly into a high-ceiling hall, illuminated by natural light that enters the hall through a pyramid-shaped overhead window.
The galleries themselves are located on the first floor, which stands on supporting pillars. A large ramp leads straight from the main entrance lobby to the various gallery floors.