“Over the next four years the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be renewing and improving a number of spaces within its landmark building. This major construction project requires us to remove Marc Chagall’s A Wheatfield on a Summer's Afternoon, which has hung in the Museum’s entrance lobby since it was acquired in 1986. We are delighted to place this work on extended loan to the Aomori Museum, where it will once again be reunited with the three other backdrops that Chagall created for the Aleko ballet"

―Timothy Rub
The George D. Widener Director and Chief Executive Officer
The Philadelphia Museum of Art


At the center of the Aomori Museum of Art a large, four story space, with a height of 19m and width of 21m has been established.Within the massive Aleko Hall, backdrops from the ballet “Aleko” painted by the great 20th century painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985) are on display.

Of the four original "Aleko" backdrops, Aomori Prefecture acquired the backdrops for scenes 1, 2, and 4 in 1994.

Born in Imperial Russia (present day Belarus) to a Jewish family, Chagall escaped Nazi persecution during World War II and was exiled to the U.S. The backdrops for Aleko were commissioned by the Ballet Theater (Present day American Ballet Theater) during Chagall’s stay in the States.The Aleko masterpieces are perfect displays of Chagall’s talent and live up to his reputation as the “Magician of Color”.

The remaining 3rd act backdrop, “A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon”, has been on display in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s West Entrance, but due to renovations, Aomori Museum of Art will display the piece for a 4 year loan period. This will be the first time the four “Aleko” pieces will be displayed together since the Aomori Museum of Art’s inaugural exhibit “Chagall: Exile in America and Aleko” in 2006. Please be sure to enjoy this rare opportunity to see the magic of Chagall’s 4 theatrical art works together.

★Because the 3rd backdrop from “Aleko” is a long term loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the museum has received permission from the Hakodate Customs authorities to display the piece as part of a bonded exhibition.

※Exhibition period: April 25th, 2017 to March, 2021 (Approximate date)
In order to enter the Aleko Hall, guests must purchase either a regular or special exhibition ticket.



Marc Chagall, backdrops created
for the ballet Aleko:Scene 3 A Wheatfield on a Summer's Afternoon , 1942
©ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017, Chagall® G0873






Marc Chagall, backdrops created
for the ballet Aleko: Scene 1 Aleko and Zemphira by Moonlight(right)
and Scene 2 Carnival(left), 1942年
©ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017, Chagall® G0873




Marc Chagall,backdrops created
for the ballet Aleko: Scene 3 A Wheatfield on a Summer's Afternoon (right)
and Scene 4 A Fantasy of St. Petersburg(left), 1942
©ADAGP, Paris & JASPAR, Tokyo, 2017, Chagall® G0873