The Asia Institute was founded in 1928 in New York as the American Institute for Persian Art and Archaeology. Later, it continued its activity in Shiraz, Iran between 1966 and 1979. Its affiliations, functions, and publications have varied over the years, although it no longer exists as an organization. Two remnants of the Asia Institute are the Bulletin of the Asia Institute, published in the United States, and the Narenjestan Museum at Shiraz University, Iran.
The institute was founded by Arthur Upham Pope, who had organized an exhibition and the First International Congress on Persian Art in Philadelphia in 1926. The aim of the institute was to promote research and interest in Persian art and archaeology through exhibitions, lectures, congresses and publications, and to assist in the excavation and conservation of monuments in Persia.
Due to close contacts with the royal family of Iran, Pope and his wife moved to Shiraz in 1966, where the Asia Institute was re-established as a part of Pahlavi University (now Shiraz University) and housed in the late-nineteenth-century Qajari mansion called the Narenjestan. The institute organized the Fifth International Congress of Iranian Art and Archaeology, which took place in Tehran in 1968.