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National Center for Art Research

With the credo of “connecting, deepening, and expanding art,” the National Center for Art Research (NCAR) established on March, 2023, serves as a new hub that links art museums, research institutions, and various stakeholders both in Japan and overseas, and not only conducts research in specialized fields, but also collects and disseminates information nationally and internationally, promotes the active use of art collections, builds interpersonal networks, enhances learning programs, supports artists and more, cooperating widely with society on many different levels and aiming for comprehensive enhancement of museum activities in Japan.

Greetings from the Director

Promotion of art in Japan can be achieved through various means: effectively utilizing art museum collections, compiling and disseminating research resources, developing international relations and networks, cultivating human resources, offering opportunities for the general public to learn through art. With the National Museums of Art and the National Film Archive of Japan as main institutions, the National Center for Art Research (NCAR) is planning and implementing a range of programs aimed at promoting art in Japan, with the missions of connecting people and art over the long term, strengthening ties among art institutions, deepening research, and expanding Japanese art. We look forward to your kind support as we continue to broaden the possibilities of NCAR’s activities.

Photo by ITO Akinori

KATAOKA MamiDirector, NCAR

Promoting Utilization of art museum collections

In addition to exhibition and collection programs undertaken in cooperation with domestic museums, and the promotion of research and dissemination of information related to the collection, exhibition, and conservation of artworks, seminars and workshops, and dissemination of information on its website, the Center strives for the sustainable utilization of the collections of the national museums of art and the development of museum activities throughout Japan.

Photo: Installation view of Rey Camoi’s Spanish Period (a preview program for the National Museum of Art Cooperative Program Collection PLUS), 2023, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
With the goal of providing enhanced art appreciation in regional areas and revitalizing exhibition and research activities at art museums, we collaborate with museums and other institutions around the country in two cooperative programs to utilize the collections of the national museums of art: The National Museum of Art Collection DIALOGUE and The National Museum of Art Collection PLUS.

Compilation and dissemination of research resources on artists and artworks in Japan

As a national research hub, we consolidate and disseminate information on artists and artworks in Japan from all over Japan. To support research on Japanese art and enhance Japan’s presence in the global art scene, we develop Art Platform Japan, a portal site serving as the function of an international center for research on art and artists in Japan. In addition, we consolidate and disseminate information on the collections of art museums throughout Japan.

Photo: SHŪZŌ: Japanese Museum Collections Search
We have taken over the SHŪZŌ project initiated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs as part of the Art Platform Program. We are working in collaboration and cooperation with art museums nationwide to consolidate and digitize collection information and disseminate it in Japanese and English.

Developing International Relations and Networks

As a center for access to information that contributes to enhancement of the international value of Japanese art, we work to build international interpersonal networks through exchanges with art museums and art-related people in Japan and abroad. We promote Japanese art broadly and internationally through symposia and workshops, translation and dissemination of relevant literature on Japanese art, and various support for artists.

Enhancing Learning and Accessibility

We pursue research and development of new programs and educational materials required by today’s society and offer information to enable anyone to encounter art and discover new values and possibilities. We also conduct activities that contribute to Japan’s art museums by examining case studies in Japan and overseas to identify important perspectives and issues, and by offering various learning opportunities such as symposia, online lectures, training programs for school teachers and art museum curators, developing projects for collaboration with art and institutions in the welfare and medical fields, enhancing accessibility to museums.

Photo: “Social Story: My First Art Museum Visit”
We have produced a guide booklet on each of the seven national art museums for people with developmental disabilities, first-time visitors and anyone who feels anxious about visiting museums.

Various Social Collaboration

We are engaged in developing interdisciplinary partnerships with various corporations and organizations to expand possibilities for art museums. We strive to make the connection between people and art closer and more varied by promoting the activities of art museums in cooperation with a diverse society, with the aim of improving art’s social value.

Photo: MOMAT (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) Collection Navigation Cube, a new service for viewing artworks produced in collaboration with Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.(DNP)