The Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts (N/BMFA) opened to the public on April 17, 1999, beginning a 20-year partnership (1999–2019) with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).
The N/BMFA’s mission is to share the distinguished and comprehensive collection of the MFA with Japan, and to further artistic and cultural partnerships between the US and Japan.
The operating organization of the N/BMFA is the Foundation for the Arts, Nagoya (FAN). FAN was established in conjunction with the founding of the N/BMFA to support international art and cultural exchange and the promotion of regional culture in Aichi Prefecture.
The N/BMFA has attracted more than approximately 4.4 million visitors since 1999.
Cultural Exchange History
In 1890, the MFA paved the way for Japanese-American exchange by being the first US art museum to establish a Japanese collection and appoint a curator specializing in Japanese art. Today, the MFA’s collection of Asian art—particularly the art of Japan—is considered the finest outside Japan. The MFA is the first and only American museum to have a sister institution in Asia. The N/BMFA presents a view of art from across all cultures and time periods to the Japanese public.
As sister museum of the MFA, the N/BMFA offers a series of exhibitions drawn from the extensive, encyclopedic collection of the MFA. On average, two exhibitions are featured each year; since the N/BMFA opened in 1999, more than 40 exhibitions have been mounted. Exhibitions are developed through the collaborative efforts of MFA and the N/BMFA curators, who travel between Boston and Nagoya to study, share research and discuss exhibitions. MFA curators also travel to the opening of each exhibition for press tours and lectures.
The N/BMFA offers a range of educational initiatives that are innovative in Japan and complement the exhibitions on view in the museum. These include programs for families and children, lectures, gallery talks and tours that focus on works of art in the MFA’s collection, as well as more general art history topics. Recently, the N/BMFA has also added specialized programs for visitors with disabilities and those with young children.
In addition, the N/BMFA develops programs with local schools and universities in Nagoya. For example, the N/BMFA participates in coursework at Nanzan University and has initiated a partnership between the SMFA and the Aichi University of the Arts, resulting in ongoing faculty exchange and student projects. The N/BMFA has also been used as a resource for courses in Museum Studies at the local universities. Additionally, the Studio Art Exchange is a yearly art-making project that invites children from both cities to interpret works on view at the N/BMFA. Their completed work is displayed in both Boston and Nagoya.
Illustrated catalogues accompany select MFA exhibitions held at the N/BMFA. Publications are available to the public at the N/BMFA’s Library Corner, as well as in the museum shop.
Designed by the architectural firm Nikken Sekkei Ltd., the N/BMFA is adjacent to a 31-story multi-use building, the Kanayama Minami Building. It includes the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya and several restaurants. The museum—a state-of-the-art structure built of granite nearly identical to that of the MFA, Boston—occupies approximately 4,700 square meters (50,590 sq. ft.) on three floors. In addition to the impressive exhibition galleries totaling 1,400 square meters (15,070 sq. ft.), the N/BMFA includes a museum shop, lecture room, Library Corner/reference room and offices.
- Address: 1-1-1 Kanayama-cho, Naka-ku, Nagoya, adjacent to the Kanayama train station and ASUNAL Kanayama
- Website: www.nagoya-boston.or.jp
- Telephone: 052.684.0101
- Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
- Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Closed Mondays (Note: If a national holiday or substitute holiday falls on a Monday, the museum will be open Monday and closed Tuesday), during change of exhibitions and the year change period.
- Adult general admission to the Museum is ¥1,300, or about $13.00 ( ¥1,100 for advance tickets or groups of 20 or more people). Discounts are available for senior citizens.
- Students (elementary school and junior high school children) are free.
- N/BMFA annual memberships, providing free admission, are available for ¥4,000 per person (about $36) over the age of 18, ¥7,350 for a family (about $66), and ¥10,500 for a VIP status (about $96).
- Through a reciprocal relationship between the sister museums, N/BMFA membership benefits also extend to the MFA, Boston. (Dollar figures are based on the conversion rate of approximately $1 = ¥95).
Kanayama Station, the rail stop for the N/BMFA, is accessible via the following lines: Meijo subway line, JR Tokaido rail line, JR Chuo rail line, and Meitetsu Nagoya rail line. Limited parking is available in the garage underneath the N/BMFA.