The Advance Reservation Admission System

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  • The grounds and gardens are open for use without reservations

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Cy Twombly Photographs

Lyrical Variations

April 23 - August 28, 2016

9:30-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Mondays (except Jul. 18), Jul. 19
DIC Corporation
Special cooperation:
Nicola Del Roscio Foundation, Nicola Del Roscio Archives, Cy Twombly Foundation
Chiba Prefecture, Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, Sakura City, Sakura City Board of Education

Museum Admission

  • Adults ¥1,200
  • College / 65 and over ¥1,000
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥600

Groups of 20 or more:

  • Adults ¥1,000
  • College / 65 and over ¥800
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥500

Persons with a disability pass:

  • Adults ¥900
  • College / 65 and over ¥700
  • Elem / JH / HS ¥400

*Admission also includes entrance to the permanent collection galleries.
- For students and seniors over 65, discounts require identification such as a Student ID, passport or driver's license.
- For persons with a disability pass=the same discounted price applies for one accompanying care-giver for each disability pass holder


Cy Twombly (1928-2011, born in Virginia, USA) is an artist of the next generation that followed the prominent artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement, like Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, and he would leave his name in the annals of art history of the 20th century with a unique style of painting and drawing that has been likened to the scribbling of a child. Twombly studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and New York’s Art Students League, and his talent as an artist was recognized in those student years by such artists as Robert Motherwell. From the 1960s, his work would come into the spotlight with successful one-man exhibitions and later with large retrospective exhibitions at prominent New York galleries and museums in Europe. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that his works in photography first began to be exhibited.

Twombly had first begun working in photography in a course that he took at Black Mountain College at the age of 23. At that time, he became absorbed in using a pinhole camera, and later as he worked primarily in painting, Twombly nonetheless continued taking photographs with a Polaroid camera. A 17th-century palazzo, cabbage and wilting flowers on a marble table, an artist’s studio scattered with paints, papers and a painting in progress, a view of the calm Tyrrhenian Sea. These scenes were all from Twombly’s daily life, and in the photographs he took of them, colors and shapes intermingle, and as ambiguity veils the actualities, a bunch of tulips becomes a work of classical Roman sculpture and a still life easily transforms into a landscape. The visual experience is one in which we the viewers find our vision freed and our eyes opened to new and larger realms.

This long-awaited exhibition brings to Japan a large selection of some 100 Twombly photographs spanning over six decades from 1951 to 2011, thanks to the full cooperation of the Nicola Del Roscio Foundation and the Nicola Del Roscio Archives. Also on display will be three paintings, four sculptures, four drawings and 18 prints that further help us understand Twombly works across all the media the artist worked in, and the photographs shed clearer light on the vision that runs through all of his oeuvre.

Lectures and Gallery Talks

Lectures (in Japanese)

Minoru Shimizu (Photography Critic, Doshisha University Professor)
“The Photographs of Cy Twombly”
Saturday May 28, 13:30-15:00
Reservation needed (reservation tickets distributed on lecture day in case of vacancies) 
Reservation tickets distributed in the Museum from 13:00 / free of charge / Limited to first 50 people / Museum admission stub required

Guest Gallery Talk (in Japanese)

Yoshihisa Tanaka (Graphic designer / Nerhol )+Takashi Homma (hotographer)
Saturday July 23, 13:30-15:00
No reservation required|free of charge|Gather at the Entrance Hall at 13:30|limited to first 60 people|Museum admission stub required

In charge of the production of this exhibition’s catalogue and advertising materials, Mr. Yoshihisa Tanaka is a graphic designer working with photographs in many projects, and he is also known for his work as a member of the artist unit Nerhol. Mr. Tanaka’s friend, the photographer Takashi Honma is one of Japan’s leading photographers, known for his front-line work in fine art and commercials. From their experience involving photography, they will talk in the galleries about the photographs in this exhibition.

Gallery Talks by the Curator (in Japanese)

Saturday April 23, Saturday June 25, Saturday July 30, Saturday August 28, 14:00-15:00
The curator in charge talks about the exhibition in the galleries.
No reservations needed |Gather at the Entrance Hall 14:00 |limited to first 60 people|Museum admission stub required

Guided Tours (in Japanese)​​​​​​​

Tours of the permanent collection and the exhibition by guide staff. 14:00-15:00 daily except on days of lectures, curator gallery talks.
No reservations needed |Gather at the Entrance Hall 14:00|limited to first 60 people|Museum admission stub required