From ancient ceramics and scroll paintings to historical kimonos and woodblock prints, there is much beauty in Asian art that also tells a story and serves as a link to the past. Many pieces from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art all share a common heritage yet maintain their own sense of unique beauty and individuality. For Asian art lovers, there are many incredible art exhibits across the country that have rarely-seen pieces of Asian art for public viewing. Here are 8 Asian art exhibits in the United States that are worth checking out.
Best Asian Art Exhibits in the U.S.
Located across the street from San Francisco’s City Hall, this updated former library is home to one of the largest Asian art collections in the world, with over 18,000 Asian artworks and artifacts among its permanent collection. Their permanent collection spans from Turkey to the Philippines, and includes arms and armor, furniture, textiles, and the oldest known dated Chinese Buddha in the world. Current exhibitions including rare Chinese world maps, Chinese art from the National Palace Museum in Taipei, and a collection of one of the world’s greatest works of literature, the Rama epic.
Address: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA
The Denver Art Museum’s art collection began in 1915 when a single collector donated a large amount of Chinese and Japanese art objects to the museum. Since then, the collection has grown and spans a period from the fourth millennium B.C. to the present, illustrating the wide-ranging achievements of Asian artists. Highlights include the Walter + Mona Lutz Gallery, a space dedicated exclusively to artwork made from bamboo, and the Bj Averitt Gallery, which features art from Southwest Asia, Central Asia, and objects that represent multiple millennia of art including the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia.
Address: 100 W 14th Avenue Pkwy, Denver, CO
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston is home to more than 100,000 objects such as paintings, sculptures, and ceramics from Japan, China, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world. Some of the museum’s most impressive Japanese art includes early Buddhist paintings and sculptures, which are on display in the Japanese Buddhist Temple, Gallery 279. The South and Southeast Asian Gallery display important Buddhist and Hindu items from the two deeply interconnected regions, and one of their noteworthy items is an early 11th-century statue of Ganesh.
Address: Avenue of the Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
At the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts, the Pavilion for Japanese Art is home to an impressive collection of Japanese works that date from 3000 B.C. to the twenty-first century. The second-level West Wing gallery houses numerous archaeological artifacts, Buddhist and Shinto sculptures, textiles, ceramics, and cloisonné, while the East Wing contains paintings from the Edo period. The Raymond and Frances Bushnell gallery on the plaza level features a large collection of miniature sculptures.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
The USC Pacific Asia Museum was established in 1971 and is one of the few institutions in the United States that is dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum has more than 15,000 objects that span four thousand years, extending from Persia to the Pacific Islands. Some of their prominent collections include the Harari Collection of Japanese paintings and drawings from the Edo period, a large collection of Japanese folk paintings, A South Pacific tapa (bark cloth) collection, and the complete prints of Paul Jacoulet.
Address: 46 North Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA
This Japanese cultural center in South Florida opened in 1977 and the original building is modeled after a Japanese villa. The principal museum building opened in 1992 to house the museum’s growing collection, and its architecture is inspired by traditional Japanese design. The building includes three exhibition galleries, a 225-seat theater, a teahouse with a viewing gallery, and a research library with classrooms. The two museum buildings are surrounded by 16-acres of Japanese gardens with strolling paths, a world-class bonsai collection, and lakes with koi fish.
Address: 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL
The largest of its kind, the Honolulu Museum of Art was founded in 1922 by Anne Rice Cooke, who created Hawaii’s first visual arts museum. The museum’s permanent collection now has more than 50,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years, with a significant amount of Asian art, textiles, and traditional works. The museum has an impressive Japanese Woodblock Prints collection, with more than 10,000 pieces. Due to their sensitivity to light, the woodblocks are changed every two months to maintain their condition.
Address: 900 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI
The Japan Society of New York was one of the first places to sponsor important exhibitions of Japanese art, and nowadays features a range of mixed-media forms of art and events such as film screenings about Asian artists, workshops, a book club, and their popular Gallery Talk Series, which features conversations with leading curators, artists, and specialists. One of their present exhibitions features art by Japanese photographers responding to the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11, 2011.
Address: 333 East 47th Street, New York, NY
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.