Eikoh Hosoe, Man and Woman #24, 1960, gelatin silver print.

©EIKOH HOSOE/COURTESY TAKA ISHII GALLERY, NEW YORK

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., has acquired 11 photographs by Japanese artists. The works make up one of the largest single acquisitions of Japanese photography by an American institution to date.

Included among the purchases are works by Takashi Arai, Minoru Hirata, Eikoh Hosoe, Miyako Ishiuchi, and Tatsuo Kawaguchi. The works span several generations and styles, and include examples related to the Mono-ha movement and the Hi Red Center group. The acquisition comes after a recent survey of Japanese avant-garde photography that originated at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and traveled to the Grey Art Gallery and the Japan Society in New York, and after an exhibition about protest photography in 1960s Japan at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In a phone conversation with ARTnews, the Hirshhorn Museum’s director, Melissa Chiu, said that the additions are intended to further round out the museum’s photography holdings. “We’re trying to build a new kind of art history of the 20th century,” she said. “With our new acquisitions, we’re arguing for a global modernism, and these works do just that.”