May 29th, 2017

Making the museum's archival collections accessible is one of the principal activities of the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka (formerly Osaka City Museum of Modern Art). The Museum Archives focus particularly on the following four groups of records and historical documents.

1. Gutai Archives

Archival collections related to activities of the Gutai Art Association (“Gutai”) (1954–1972), one of the most important radical artistic collectives in postwar Japan. The archives include audiovisual materials, photographs, posters, pamphlets, exhibition records, together with correspondence and books, etc. from Gutai leader Yoshihara Jiro and other Gutai members.

2. Industrial Design Archives

Database of product information and transcripts of oral history relating to industrial design products and designers, particularly concerning domestic appliances and industrialized houses.

3. Mannensha Archives

Archives from Mannensha, an advertising agency that played a distinctive role in the history of advertising in Osaka over a period of 110 years. The archives include books, advertising handbills, commercial films, printed materials, and documents.

4. Institutional Archives

Archival records and historical documents relating to the history and activities of the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka, including exhibitions and other events.

To ensure that the archive materials are widely available, contributing to understanding and appreciation of artists and their works, and to give the Museum Archives a role as a distinctive feature of the Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka, the museum implements the following approaches.

Improving accessibility

In order for any potential user to be able to survey archive material, the museum strives to make the collections more accessible. As well as enhanced visibility online, the new museum building will incorporate an archive research center that provides facilities for researchers to examine the actual materials.


The Museum Archives build interoperable archiving systems, and provide information about the museum’s archival collections to international users via the Internet.


As a leading example among Japanese art musuems in opening archival collections to the public, the Museum Archives valorize and promote the archives’ value, organizing lectures, symposia, and other opportunities to disseminate a greater understanding of the benefits of archives.

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