His global reach has helped to fuel sales in the Murakami shop at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston where “Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics” is a few weeks into its five-and-a-half month run, completed with the esteemed Japanese art historian Nobuo Tsuji. The duo selected the objects on display with the artist creating paintings and sculpture in direct response to such Japanese masterpieces from the MFA’s collection as Soga Shōhaku’s 35-foot-long “Dragon and Clouds” (1763), and the Heiji Scroll dating back to the second half of the 13th century.
Sales have been so brisk that the opening night party registered among the highest hourly sales that the MFA has ever had, according to a museum spokeswoman. The artist’s limited-edition prints sold out in a flash with one shopper flying in from Atlanta to buy “Korin: Dark Matter.” With a waiting list at 250 and growing, the prints have been reordered and a new shipment from Japan is expected later this year.
Other bestsellers include T-shirts and sweatshirts, tallying about 600 units in sales. One of the more unusual items is the Studio Canvas tote bags, which were made from used canvas from Murakami’s studio. These lined accessories have an interior pocket and are signed by the artist. They also carry a $6,200 price tag.
Flower-shaped cushions are also in demand, although no one has shelled out $3,000 yet for a gigantic one. Museumgoers have also been buying enamel pins and floral pins to the tune of 1,000 units. Plush toys, Murakami’s Ego book, exhibition posters, puzzles and Red Dragon postcards have been popular.
Murakami’s East Coast tour this fall included a buzz-by this month’s opening of his new exhibition, “The Deep End of the Universe,” at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Murakami will head farther north early next year.: The artist’s first retrospective in Canada will bow Feb. 3 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.