Moga: Modern Women & Daughters in 1930s Japan

Friday, May 6 – Jul 30, 2022

659 W. Wrightwood
Chicago, IL 60614

Wrightwood 659 premieres a refined selection of Japanese paintings exhibited for the first time in the United States. These works expand on the common depiction of the urbane “modern girl” (modan gāru or moga). Moga captured the public imagination in 1920s Japan—prioritizing an independent lifestyle and challenging the traditional state-sanctioned ideal of the “good wife, wise mother.” However, the ideal role of women in Japanese society was not one-dimensional and continued to diversify during the 1930s. Moga: Modern Women & Daughters in 1930s Japan brings paintings of mothers and daughters back into the conversation about the moga, exhibiting them beside other more popular imagery of the “modern girl.” Drawn from a private collection, many of these works originated from the noted Meguro Gajōen, a massive entertainment complex that first opened in 1931, filled with paintings from the period—primarily of women. Both modern in appearance and traditional in values, these works from the walls of the Meguro Gajōen featured women and children effortlessly engaged in scenes from everyday life. Moga: Modern Women & Daughters in 1930s Japan looks to this collection as a nuanced exploration of feminine representation during a period of dramatic change.

Hours of Operation 
Fridays 12–7pm
Saturdays 10am–5pm 


Tickets for the exhibition will be $15 and available online only, beginning April 7, at Please note, admission is by advance ticket only. Walk-ups are not permitted.


COVID-19 Response 
Wrightwood 659 requires all staff and guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and booster prior to admission to Wrightwood 659. Proof of vaccine and booster can be official vaccine card or a photo of the card, along with a matching photo ID. Any individual who does not meet these requirements will not be permitted to enter the building. Children who are ineligible for vaccination (0-4 years old) cannot be admitted to the building. Masks will continue to be required throughout the gallery. Read more about Wrightwood 659’s health and safety policy at  


About Wrightwood 659
Wrightwood 659 is a private, non-collecting institution devoted to socially engaged art and to architecture. Located at 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, the intimate space officially opened in late 2018 and presents two to three public exhibitions annually. Wrightwood 659 was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who transformed a 1920s building with his signature concrete forms and poetic treatment of natural light. For additional information: