A Spectacular Showcase of Art Deco Splendor
The Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum was originally constructed as the residence of Prince Asaka Yasuhiko and his family in 1933. This Art Deco marvel now operates as a museum that showcases exceptional artwork and craftsmanship, evocative of the early Showa period.
Designed by French artist Henri Rapin with decorative glasswork by René Lalique, the museum’s primary edifice is a splendid exemplar of Art Deco architecture. The Japanese government recognizes it as an Important Cultural Property. Visitors can venture through the ornate rooms, featuring original furnishings and various artworks and crafts from Japan and abroad, related to the Art Deco style.
The museum’s grandeur extends beyond the interior. Outside, an expansive garden, spanning approximately 18,000 square meters, houses a pond, fountain, and sculptures by world-renowned artists like Rodin and Bourdelle. The peaceful Japanese-style garden and the European-style garden for cherry-blossom viewing offer a serene escape from the city’s bustling energy.
The museum’s great dining room, bedecked with a breathtaking lighting fixture by René Lalique depicting peacocks and grapes, is a striking feature. The room also boasts a fireplace with a bronze relief by Paul Manship and a mural painting by Henri le Sidaner. The white porcelain “perfume tower” in the “Tsugi-no-ma” room is another highlight of the museum, designed by Henri Rapin and built by the National Sabre Pottery Studio.
Furthermore, the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum offers diverse programs and events that aim to promote cultural exchange and appreciation among its visitors. With changing exhibitions ranging from Lalique’s works to modern art and a winter garden on the rooftop with tropical plants and colorful illumination effects, this museum is a wellspring of inspiration for contemporary artists and designers seeking to reinterpret and revitalize the Art Deco style.