Today’s Seattle Asian Art Museum is inspired. Visit the reimagined and reinstalled museum when it reopens February 8. The newly renovated and expanded Asian Art Museum breaks boundaries to offer a thematic, rather than geographic or chronological, exploration of art from the world’s largest continent.
One of the Seattle Art Museum’s three sites and located in Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) occupies the 1933 Art Deco building designed by Carl F. Gould and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The rich programming of the museum has long explored fascinating, diverse perspectives on Asian history and culture and its presence in the world.
Celebrating its 25th year, SAAM holds a world-renowned Asian Art collection. From grand, ancient Buddha sculptures, iconic early 17th-century Japanese Crows screens to contemporary work such as Colored Vases by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, SAAM’s collection has been imaginatively curated and expanded for over 80 years. Chinese and Japanese art are the largest areas of the collection, while holdings of artworks from Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, and the Middle East are growing, in addition to actively collecting contemporary Asian art.
To complement existing programs, the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas was founded in 2009 by Mimi Gardner Gates, SAM’s Director Emerita. The Center offers dynamic public programs by specialists who explore all facets of Asia, from history, culture, and global development, to a striking diversity of art forms.
With doors reopening on Saturday, February 8, 2020 after a two-year, $56M capital campaign, SAAM will be a modern museum in a historic building. The renovation and expansion addresses seismic upgrades, environmental controls, added new dedicated education space and gallery space, along with building the region’s first conservation center for Asian paintings. Educational programs and events can be found at the SAAM for young people to learn more about the arts and cultures of Asia. These include Free First Saturdays, “Arts of Asia” guided school tours and Teen Art Labs. SAAM has served over 10,000 school and family audiences annually and with this expansion, SAAM anticipates doubling those SAAM serves and giving them a greater understanding of Asian art and culture.
The Hong Kong Association of Washington Foundation will hold the 2020 Chinese New Year Gala, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel Grand Ballroom on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 a festive evening and fundraising gala for SAAM.