About The Project

Seattle Asian Art Museum Renovation & Expansion

Our renovation plan restores our original home, including its historic façade and the preservation of classic Art Deco design elements throughout the building. Significant architectural and structural upgrades will protect this beloved landmark and safeguard our world-renowned Asian art collection.

Upgrades will include

  • a much-needed replacement of a 1930s heating system;
  • the addition of a cooling system and humidity controls;
  • critically needed seismic upgrades;
  • an improved loading dock; and
  • a new art freight elevator.

A modest addition will also create a new gallery and more space for our community to gather around art and culture, enjoy public programs, and host events. It will also improve circulation to the meeting rooms, education spaces, library, and auditorium.

Learn More about the Project

Restore the Heart of SAM

Our Progress


Donate Now

$54 Million Goal


Help the Asian Art Museum become a modern museum in a historic building. Your support will help protect our cherished and important collection and make this significant renovation and expansion possible.

Protect our Collection

From grand, ancient Buddha sculptures to our iconic early 17th-century Japanese Crows screens to contemporary work such as Colored Vases by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, our collection has been imaginatively curated and expanded for 80 years. Chinese and Japanese art are the largest areas of our collection, while our holdings of artworks from Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, and the Middle East are growing, we are also actively collecting contemporary Asian art.

While the Asian Art Museum is closed, enjoy Asian art downtown at the Seattle Art Museum. Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China and Talents and Beauties: Art of Women in Japan are on view now. Look below to learn more about the works in our cherished collection.

Catalogue of Chinese Painting & Calligraphy

Catalog of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

Explore SAM’s collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy, including essays, transcriptions, deep zoom detail, and more.

Sam Yellin's Pair of Gates in the Fuller Garden Court

Sam Yellin’s Pair of Gates in the Fuller Garden Court

Artist Sam Vernon discusses her affinity for the timeless Art Deco architecture at the Asian Art Museum and its influence in her work.

Japanese Crow Screens and Pair of Cabinets

Japanese Crow Screens and Pair of Cabinets

Artist-curator Tabaimo speaks on the objects from SAM’s Asian art collection, which inspired works within her exhibition Tabaimo: Utsutsushi Utsushi, on view at the Asian Art Museum in 2016–17.

Indo-Persian Paintings

Indo-Persian Paintings

Artist Jung Yeondoo discusses his attraction to the Indo-Persian artwork at the Asian Art Museum.

View SAM’s Asian art collection

Project News

  • Feb 14 2018

Join us for a Seattle Asian Art Museum Community Meeting on March 1

You are invited to attend a community meeting to learn more about the construction process ...

Rendering of new art gallery 5
  • Jan 24 2018

Seattle City Council Approves Seattle Asian Art Museum Project

Councilmembers unanimously voted on Monday, January 22, 2018 to approve the Seattle Asian ...

Rendering of new art studio and education space 6
  • Jan 19 2018

Seattle City Council to Vote on Seattle Asian Art Museum Project January 22, 2018

On Monday, January 22, 2018 at 2 pm, the Seattle City Council will vote on the Seattle Asi ...

Rendering of new park lobby 5
  • Jan 16 2018

Council Subcommittee to Consider Land Use Code Amendment and Building Lease

The Seattle City Council’s Civic Development, Public Assets, and Native Communities Com ...