February 3, 2023

JAM Award 2022 goes to the Ohara Museum of Art


The Japanese Association of Museums (JAM) officially celebrated the Ohara Museum of Art (Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture) as the winner of the JAM Award 2022 at the opening ceremony of the 70th National Museum Convention held on November 16, 2022.

The JAM Award was established in 2020 to commemorate JAM’s 90th anniversary and to honor institutions that have made significant contributions to the promotion of museums in Japan and achieved outstanding results, serving as models for other museums. The award winner is selected from among JAM members. The selection committee, consisting of academics and museum professionals, selects the winners, and the JAM’s Board makes final decisions.

The Ohara Museum of Art, which opened to the public in 1930, is the first private art museum that introduced Western masterpieces to Japan. While boasting one of the best Western painting collections in the country, the museum is also expanding the scope of the collection by adding modern and contemporary artworks from the perspective that the present is only a part of history. This activity makes the museum more attractive and a role model for other museums.

Although the museum is located at the center of Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, a historical tourist destination, it contributes to tourism promotion and revitalization of the entire region based on its belief that an art museum is a communication hub of culture, not merely a tourist attraction. In cooperation with local schools, the museum welcomes schoolchildren and brings significant results continuously. As for its management, under operational difficulties caused by the pandemic, the museum conducted fundraising activities and obtained a substantial part of the running costs of the museum. The proactive efforts make it a reference example for other museums as well.

As a winner of the JAM Award 2022, the Ohara Museum of Art will be invited to participate in The Best in Heritage (TBIH) 2023 conference upon the JAM’s recommendation.
(Under the present complicated situation, TBIH Administration recently decided to hold this year’s conference in a digital format.)