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.

Share your memories!

For generations, children and adults have climbed atop the famed camels flanking the front door of the Seattle Asian Art Museum before entering the building to experience art and culture from around the globe. Now you can share your pictures and memories with SAM and the community! Submit photos of you and your loved ones posing with the camels and tell us your story.

Share Now

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

Photo of the Olmsted Path as work progresses 3
  • Nov 10 2018

Volunteer Park Path Upgrades Almost Complete

One component of the Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation project is upgrades to pedestrian ...

  • Jul 20 2018

Seattle Asian Art Museum Expansion “Topping Out”

The last beams are going in place for the steel framework of the Seattle Asian Art Museum ...

  • Jun 19 2018

Fuller Garden Court Skylights Revealed During Building Renovation

The renovation of the Seattle Asian Art Museum is in full swing. The translucent panel cei ...

Groundbreaking! 20
  • Mar 15 2018

Museum Renovation and Expansion is Underway

Seattle Art Museum executives, joined by City of Seattle leaders, project donors and supp ...