Since the company was founded in 1929, Pola has pursued supreme beauty with a focus on personal charm and appearance. The Pola Museum of Art is one of our cultural activities, which will lead to the future generations of beauty and culture. The museum’s collection, totaling approximately 10,000 items, was assembled over some 40 years by the late Tsuneshi Suzuki, the second-generation head of the Pola corporation. We also provide support for young artists, conduct research studies, and foster international exchange through art.

Pola’s Founder: Tsuneshi Suzuki

Tsuneshi Suzuki (1930-2000)

Born in Shizuoka, Tsuneshi Suzuki was the first son of Shinobu Suzuki, who established Pola in 1930 as a firm engaged in the research, manufacturing, and sales of cosmetics. After graduating from university, Tsuneshi moved to the U.S. to study business management, but was forced to return to Japan seven months later due to his father’s sudden death. For the next approximately 40 years, he served as the director of Pola.

In 1976, Suzuki established the Pola Research Institute of Beauty & Culture as an incorporated foundation (now, a public interest incorporated foundation). He also served as the company’s director based on the corporate philosophy of conducting business activities centering on health and beauty in order to contribute to the advancement of culture, and create a prosperous and peaceful society. Suzuki was also moving ahead a project to build a museum that would house his personal collection of art, but he died in 2000 prior to its opening.

When Suzuki started collecting art, he acquired modern yoga (Western-style paintings by Japanese artists) and French contemporary paintings. Then, after having an opportunity to show a portion of his collection in Shizuoka in the late 1980s, he came up with the idea of building his own museum. From that point, Suzuki began collecting Impressionist and 20th-century Western paintings as well as large-format paintings. Without relying on the advice of a specialist, Suzuki taught himself about art by reading treatises on the subject. Through the application of this knowledge, he systematically amassed a collection of Western painting, making it possible to trace the history of Western and Japanese art through the 19th and 20th centuries.


  • 1929

    Pola was founded.

  • 1976

    The Pola Research Institute of Beauty & Culture was established.

  • 1979

    The Pola Foundation for the Promotion of Traditional Japanese Culture was established.

  • 1996

    The Pola Art Foundation was established.

  • Apr. 2000

    The Pola Museum of Art began to be built in Sengokuhara, Hakone.

  • May. 2002

    The museum was completed, and registered as a general museum under the Museum Act.

  • Sep. 2002

    The Pola Museum of Art opened.

  • 2012

    The museum celebrates its 10th anniversary.
    The Nature Trail opened to encourage greater familiarity with Hakone’s natural beauty.

  • 2014

    The Jikkuri Hands-on Project launched.

  • 2017

    The museum celebrates its 15th anniversary.
    The Artrium Gallery is newly constructed to introduce the work of contemporary artists.
    The Hiraku Project, designed to introduce young contemporary artists, launched.

  • 2018

    A series of art workshops with a focus on business are launched.

  • 2019

    Syncopation, an exhibition combining works from the collection with contemporary art, held.

  • 2021

    Roni Horn becomes the first solo exhibition to showcase a contemporary artist at the museum.