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HOME > THE MUSEUM > Returned Exhibition: Forever Saul Leiter

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Returned Exhibition:
Forever Saul Leiter

Wed. July 22 - Mon. September 28, 2020
*8/18, 9/8 Closed

More Information (Japanese Site)

Saul Leiter, pioneer of color photography who captured New York’s daily life from his own unique angle, has recently had his appeal rediscovered. In 2017, The Bunkamura Museum of Art held for the first time in Japan a retrospective exhibition of Leiter’s works, receiving enthusiastic accolades. In January 2020, the museum held the “Forever Saul Leiter” exhibit, which was expected to set off a second Leiter craze. Unfortunately, the event came to an abrupt end due to COVID-19.

Leiter’s works suffered a strange fate, however. Leiter’s masterpieces belong to the Saul Leiter Foundation; his longtime studio-cum-apartment, located in New York, now serves as the Foundation’s office. New York was harder hit by the novel coronavirus than Japan. This meant that the works could not be returned to the Foundation at any time in the near future. Accordingly, it was decided that the photographs would stay in Japan for the time being and be preserved with great care.

Leiter was an avid aficionado of Japanese art. When it was founded in 2014 following his death, the Foundation made holding a retrospective exhibition in Japan one of its goals. We were heartbroken when the event had to be cut short. The Foundation graciously accepted our proposal to reopen the exhibition: this is why we are now able to hold anew an encore presentation.

The Saul Leiter Foundation continues to unearth and organize Leiter’s works, including tens of thousands of color and black-and-white photographs, the majority of which he left behind without sorting. At this exhibit, we display works that feature his beloved sister Deborah and his lover Soames, who both understood Leiter, as well as his beloved cats. We also unveil for the first time worldwide a panoply of color slides of Leiter’s unprinted films, which have been converted to data by the Foundation. Moreover, we also show rare photos taken after 2000 using a digital camera, and examples of the sketchbooks that Leiter himself described as the pinnacle of hisart. By mainly sharing works and materials that have been newly organized since the 2017 retrospective, the exhibit zooms in on Leiter’s unyielding way of living, and the background and reality of his creations that he worked on in his own unique way.

Admission Fee

Admission Fee (Including tax) The day
Adults ¥1,500
College & high school students ¥1,000
Junior high & elementary school students ¥700

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