Seattle Asian Art Museum History

The Heart of SAM

The Asian Art Museum resides in our original 1933 Art Deco building in the Olmsted-designed Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Our renowned collection of Asian art has grown from its foundations of Chinese and Japanese art, and now includes works from India, Korea, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This gem-like historic landmark offers a rich dive into some of SAM’s​ traditional masterpieces along with contemporary Asian art.

The museum was designed by Carl F. Gould, a Paris-trained Seattle architect, and is now a heritage site. Gould created a sequence of small and large rooms that are ideal environments for the exploration of ​art. The building was renovated from 1991 to 19​​94 and renamed the Asian Art Museum.