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The Ohara Museum of Art (大原美術館 Ōhara Bijutsukan) in Kurashiki was the first collection of Western art to be permanently exhibited in Japan. The museum opened in 1930 and originally consisted almost entirely of French paintings and sculptures of the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection has now expanded to include paintings of the Italian Renaissance and of the Dutch and Flemish 17th century. Well-known American and Italian artists of the 20th century are also included in the collection.
In 1961 a wing was added for acquired Japanese paintings of the first half of the 20th century: Fujishima Takeji, Aoki Shigeru, Kishida Ryūsei, Koide Tarushige and others. In the same year, a wing for potteries of Kawai Kanjirō, Bernard Leach, Hamada Shōji, Tomimoto Kenkichi and others was opened. 1963 a wing was added for the woodcuts of Munakata Shikō and dyeings of Serisawa Keisuke. Today the last two wings are combined as Crafts Wing (Kōgei-kan). 1972 the Kojima Torajirō Memorial Hall was opened at the Ivory Square of Kurashiki.
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