The MIA's collection of Asian art represents seventeen Asian cultures spanning nearly 5,000 years. The Department of Asian Arts has benefited greatly from generous gifts from knowledgeable collectors. Augustus L. Searle, Alfred F. Pillsbury, Richard P. Gale, Louis W. Hill, Jr., and Ruth and Bruce Dayton have donated specialized collections of international reputation, including ancient Chinese bronzes, ancient and post-Sung jade, Chinese monochrome ceramics, ukiyo-e paintings, Japanese prints, and classical Chinese furniture. In addition, highly regarded specialized collections of Ch’ing dynasty silk textiles, Miao textiles, and surimono prints have been built over the years.
The department’s goal is to provide the public with a broad overview of Asian art. In 1998 the museum presented the Indian, Islamic, Himalayan, Southeast Asian, and Korean permanent collections.
An original reception hall from the late Ming dynasty and an eighteenth-century Suchou-area library are now in place.
The renowned collections of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Chinese furniture, literati objects, and paintings have been acquired through the extraordinary generosity of Ruth and Bruce Dayton. While building these focused collections, the Daytons have strategically added important gifts of sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, gold, calligraphy, and Nanga painting.
On October 7, 2001, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts unveiled two historically based Japanese rooms: a formal audience hall (shoin) and a teahouse (chashitsu). Both structures are highly visible installations within the permanent galleries of Japanese art and serve to heighten awareness of the relationship between Japanese art and architecture. The rooms also address divergent aesthetic trends that arose during the sixteenth century in Japan: one that reflected the flamboyant tastes of Japan's warrior rulers, and the other that suggests the tea masters' admiration for the humble, simple, and rustic. The rooms opened in a permanent installation called "Sumptuous and Sublime: Two Japanese Rooms," on Sunday, October 7, 2001. Gallery 222 houses the Audience Hall, and Gallery 225 houses the Teahouse.
- Matthew Welch, PhD
Deputy Director and Chief Curator
- Liu Yang
Curator of Chinese Art
Head of Asian Art
- Andreas Marks, PhD
Curator of Japanese and Korean Art
Japanese and Korean Art Department Head
Director of the Clark Center at the MIA
- Risha K. Lee, PhD
Jane Emison Assistant Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art