The Ishibashi Cultural Center was built in Kurume City in 1956 by the founder of Bridgestone, Shojiro Ishibashi (also founder of the Ishibashi Foundation), and then donated to the city.
The foundation had been running the Ishibashi Museum of Art (present Kurume City Art Museum), which had been the core facility of the cultural center from April 1977 to September 2016. Here is a summary of its timeline.
|1956||April 26—Opened as the core facility of Ishibashi Cultural Center (photo 1).
Held the Opening Exhibition Ishibashi Art Gallery exhibition and Works of Aoki Shigeru and Sakamoto Hanjiro exhibition.
July—Started holding lectures on art (held 488 lectures until May 2016).
September—Hanjiro Sakamoto visited the museum to retouch his Three Grazing Horses and two other works (photo 2). Subsequently visited the museum on occasion.
|1961||Commenced Summer Western-style Drawing Course (held 15 times until 1976) (photo 3).||
|1963||Held the Picasso Guernica exhibition and Paintings from the Matsukata Collection from the Holdings of the National Museum of Western Art exhibition (photo 4).
Recorded the museum's largest number of visitors in this year (187,000 visitors).
|1965||First renovation and extension construction was completed (from1,587 m² to 2,125 m²).
Held an exhibition titled Ten Modern Japanese Painters: The Masters of Kyushu.
|1966||Held Ishibashi Art Gallery Tenth Anniversary Exhibition: Masterpieces from the Bridgestone Gallery.|
|1968||Visited by the Crown Prince and Princess (photo 5).||
|1969||Held exhibitions titled Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Klee.
Started Sunday Painters' School (until 1999).
Hanjiro Sakamoto passed away.
|1971||Held an exhibition titled Sakamoto Hanjiro: The Human and His Art.
Changed the museum's English name from Ishibashi Art Gallery to Ishibashi Museum of Art.
|1972||Held Bridgestone Museum of Art Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition: Aoki Shigeru.|
|1974||Established a "guest corner" as a measure against the declining number of visitors (until 1977) (photo 6).||
|1975||Enhanced the Shigeru Aoki and Hanjiro Sakamoto's room, and began promoting the facility as the area's "Home Museum."|
|1976||September—Shojiro Ishibashi passed away.|
|1977||Upon request from Kurume City, the administration of the Ishibashi Museum of Art was handed over to the Ishibashi Foundation from the Kurume Cultural Development Foundation.|
|1978||Completion of renovation and extension construction (doubled the floor area to 2,970 m²).
Held Masterpieces from the Bridgestone Museum of Art Grand Reopening Exhibition.
Started training 10 volunteers (until about 1982).
|1979||A Gift of the Sea by Shigeru Aoki was transferred to and exhibited at Ishibashi Museum of Art. Thereafter, the piece was exhibited at the Bridgestone Museum of Art only in July and August (until 1990).|
|1980||Sakamoto Hanjiro's former atelier was transferred from Yame City to the Ishibashi Cultural Center's garden where it was restored.|
|1982||Held the Sakamoto Hanjiro exhibition.|
|1983||Held the Aoki Shigeru and Late Victorian Art exhibition.|
|1985||Held Exhibition Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Matsuda Teisho.|
|1986||Held an exhibition titled Harue Koga: The Development of a Japanese Avant-Garde Painter.|
|1987||Held the Burne-Jones and His Followers exhibition.|
|1989||Held an exhibition titled Victorian Dreamers: Masterpieces of New-Classical and Aesthetic Movements in Britain.|
|1991||Held exhibitions titled Rossetti and Marie Laurencin.|
|1996||Held an exhibition titled Masterpieces from the Ishibashi Collection: Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Opening of the Ishibashi Cultural Center.
Opened Ishibashi Museum of Art, Asian Gallery (the building was built on the site of a former swimming pool).
|1997||Held Starting Anew in the Meiji Period: A Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings from the Hakubakai Group 1896-1991.
June—Kanichiro Ishibashi passed away.
|1998||Started holding gallery talks.|
|2002||Both the main building and the Asian Gallery were renovated. (photo 7).
Held the exhibitions Special Exhibition Commemorating the Reopening of the Ishibashi Museum of Art—Ishibashi Shojiro; Art Collector: From Aoki Shigeru and Sakamoto Hanjiro to Western Art and Bridgestone Museum of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration: Fujishima Takeji.
Admission fees to the main building and the Asian Gallery were integrated into a single fee, and admission to the permanent exhibition for children in junior high school and under became complimentary.
Started Summer Course in Artistic Technique for Children and Their Parents (has been continued as a workshop).
|2003||Held an exhibition titled Aoki Shigeru and Romanticism in Modern Japanese Art.
A voice guidance service was introduced this year.
|2004||Started Summer Vacation Children's Program (until 2009).|
|2005||All admission fees for children in junior high school and under were dropped.|
|2006||Held exhibitions Ishibashi Museum of Art Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration: Sakamoto Hanjiro and From Sesshu to Pollock: An Exhibition Marking the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Ishibashi Foundation.
A volunteer system was introduced this year.
Introduced the museum mascot character Egaki Taizo Kun (a pun on "I want to draw pictures") (photo 8).
|2008||Restoration and repair work of Sakamoto Hanjiro's former atelier was completed and was opened for viewing (photo 9).
The museum shop in the main building was completed.
|2009||Held an exhibition titled Passion: Commemorating the 120th Anniversary of Birth of Ishibashi Shojiro.|
|2010||Held an exhibition titled KOGA Harue: A Retrospective.|
|2011||Held AOKI Shigeru Centennial Exhibition: Myth, Sea and Love; Takashima Yajuro: Homecoming Exhibition and Nomiyama Gyoji.|
|2013||Held an exhibition titled Treasures from Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji—Sesshu, Tohaku, Sotatsu, and Jakuchu (at the Asian gallery).
Resurrected Summer Vacation Children's Program.
|2014||In May this year, it was announced that the administration of the Ishibashi Museum of Art would be returned from the Ishibashi Foundation to Kurume City from October 2016.|
|2015||Held an exhibition titled Legendary Artists of Japanese Western Painting—the Centennial of the Nika Exhibition.|
|2016||Held an exhibition titled The Story of the Ishibashi Museum of Art: Starting from Kurume in 1956 (photo 10).
October 1—Changed the museum name to Kurume City Art Museum.
November 19—The Kurume City Art Museum was opened. The Shojiro Ishibashi Memorial Museum (former Asian Gallery at the Ishibashi Museum of Art) was also opened this day.