The Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art is operated as one branch of the Sustainability programs of DIC Corporation, a fine chemicals company engaged in diverse product fields globally, beginning with printing inks and organic pigments. Opened in 1990 in Sakura City, Chiba prefecture, adjacent to the DIC Central Research Laboratory, the museum was designed by Ichiro Ebihara to house the collection of largely 20th-century art in spaces well matched to the nature of the works, and to fit harmoniously into the natural environment where visitors can enjoy the beauties of the four seasons. It is a museum loved by many for these three elements, the art works, the architecture and the natural beauty of its grounds.
It is known that Katsumi Kawamura (1905~1999), the second president and the first director of the museum, greatly valued the time he spent alone engaged in discourse with works of art in his spare time away from the challenges of managing the company. Driven by the desire to share this joy with others as well, he conceived the idea of creating a museum, and toward that aim he began collecting artworks in earnest from the 1970s.
With the cooperation of the sculptor Yoshikuni Iida and others, Kawamura focused his collecting on contemporary works of artists who had not yet been introduced to the Japanese audience and, from an early stage, he purchased works of American contemporary artists like Morris Louis and Frank Stella who were beginning to be respected in Europe as well at the time. In this way, he created a collection of 20-th century art that the Japanese audience had few opportunities to view together in one venue.
Despite having been initially founded solely for the purpose of showing the Museum collection to the public, the quality of its artworks soon attracted widespread attention, and at the request of visitors we began to hold daily guided tours of the works on display and organizing special exhibitions several times a year. In 2008, as part of celebrations of DIC Corporation’s 100th anniversary, the museum facilities were expanded to include a dedicated Rothko Room and new special exhibition gallery space to enable the display of a greater number of artworks.
Currently, in addition to educational programs like our regular Guided Tour program, we also have a Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art Membership program. There is also our outreach Art Education Support program, which supports teachers who bring a class of elementary, middle school or high school students on arts field trips to museum, as well as providing Annex Gallery space for displaying student works of art. Furthermore, the lush natural environment of the museum’s 30,000 sq. m of grounds offers an ideal setting for visitors to relax and commune with nature.