The preserved façade old the Asian Art Museum
© Tim Griffith

SAAM (Seattle Asian Art Museum) is a beautiful museum with its Art Deco building. Il is located in the peaceful and delightful Volunteer Park. The museum renovation is a great success!

The expansion, designed by LMN Arhitects, on the east side of the Asian Art Museum
© Tim Griffith

Reconstruction

Seattle Asian Art Museum will reopen its doors to the public on Saturday, February 8, after two long years of renovation and expansion. The original building was constructed in 1933. The objective of its renovation is to improve the infrastructure, access and space related to the different programs.
Seattle-based LMN Architects redesigned the new museum with landscape architect Walker Macy. This historic enclosure is becoming a modern museum.

The new Park Lobby in the Asian Art Museum
© Tim Griffith

The historic Art Deco building of the Museum of Asian Art previously housed the SAM collections and had not been restored since its construction in 1933. The idea behind the renovation was to modernize and preserve the historic building, increase the exhibition and educational spaces, and establish a better connection with Volunteer Park. The rooms of the museum have all been renovated or rebuilt. A wing was added to the original building, and large bay windows now overlook the beautiful “Volunteer Park”.
The total budget is approximately $56 million, coming from public and private funds.

The restored main entrance lobby of the Asian Art Museum
© Tim Griffith

The Artistic Program

Poem Scroll with Deer, 1610s
© Seiji Shirono

It is one of the only art museums in North America dedicated solely to Asian art. The Museum of Asian Art includes an important collection of art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. The museum has been completely redesigned around different themes (12 in total) and not by region or chronological order. Each room tells a story: arts related to the material life in the North wing, and to the spiritual life in the South wing. The reimagined collection is called Boundless: Stories of Asian Art.

Installation view of Boundless: Stories of Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum
© Jueqian Fang

SAAM is hosting an exhibition of contemporary Asian art in the eastern section of the building, “Be/Longing: Contemporary Asian Art”, representing 12 Asian artists from Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan.

Be/longing: Contemporary Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum
© Adam Hunter/LMN Architects

The new museum will be open to the public free of charge on February 8 and 9. A great opportunity as well do discover the neighborhood and its beautiful mansions, as well as the Volunteer Park and its beautiful greenhouse!

Aerial view of the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, looking toward Downtown Seattle
© Tim Griffith

Translated by Anchi