Seattle Asian Art Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle Asian Art Museum.jpg
Front entrance of the building facing west
LocationVolunteer Park, Seattle, Washington, United States
TypeArt museum
OwnerCity of Seattle
WebsiteSeattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Asian Art Museum is located in Washington (state)
Seattle Asian Art Museum
LocationSeattle, Washington
Coordinates47°37′49″N 122°18′51″W / 47.6303°N 122.3143°W / 47.6303; -122.3143Coordinates: 47°37′49″N 122°18′51″W / 47.6303°N 122.3143°W / 47.6303; -122.3143
ArchitectCarl F. Gould
Architectural styleArt Moderne
NRHP reference #16000474[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJuly 20, 2016
Designated SEATLJune 21, 1989
Camel statue in front of the SAAM

The Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) is a museum of Asian art located inside Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. Part of the Seattle Art Museum, the SAAM occupies the 1933 Art Deco building (designed by Carl F. Gould of the architectural firm Bebb and Gould and listed on the National Register of Historic Places) which was originally home to the Seattle Art Museum's main collection. In 1991 the main collection moved to a newly constructed Seattle Art Museum building in downtown Seattle. The building in Volunteer Park remained closed until 1994, when it reopened as the Seattle Asian Art Museum.[2] Admission is free on the first Thursday and the first Saturday of every month.


The Seattle Asian Art Museum is housed in a historic Art Deco building designed in 1933 by Carl F. Gould of the architectural firm Bebb and Gould. From 1933 to 1991, the building served as the home of the Seattle Art Museum and its main collection. After the main collection moved to a new museum in Downtown Seattle, the building was renovated at a cost of $5.2 million.

The building was designated a Seattle landmark in 1989 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.[3]


The Seattle Art Museum was founded in 1933 by Richard E. Fuller, a collector of Asian art. The museum announced in 1993 that it would open an Asian art museum at its former location in Volunteer Park.[4][5]

A reception at the museum was held on November 20, 1993 as part of the APEC Summit, attended by the leaders of East Asian nations and 400 guests.[6] The museum opened to the public on August 13, 1994, during a ceremony attended by 6,000 visitors.[7]

The museum was closed in spring 2017 for a major renovation and expansion project, scheduled to last until 2019.[8] The project includes preservation of the museum's historic Art Deco facade, infrastructure improvements, climate control and seismic system upgrades, as well as the addition of new gallery and education spaces. [9] Groundbreaking occurred on March 13, 2018.[10]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Reynolds, Jonathan M., ed. (September 1994). "Museum News". Newsletter, East Asian Art and Archaeology. Center of Japanese Studies, University of Michigan (47): 13.
  3. ^ Landmarks Alphabetical Listing for S Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine, Individual Landmarks, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Seattle. Accessed December 28, 2007.
  4. ^ Updike, Robin (June 27, 1993). "Old SAM: A museum gets ready to be born again". The Seattle Times. p. F8. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Updike, Robin (July 31, 1994). "Honoring Asia's treasures: the rebirth of an art museum gives Seattle a long-awaited chance to savor its cultural legacy". The Seattle Times. p. M1.
  6. ^ Gupta, Himanee (November 20, 1993). "Meeting to remember for Seattleites: guests thriled by rubbing shoulders with world leaders". The Seattle Times. p. A10.
  7. ^ Updike, Robin (August 13, 1994). "SAAM's showcase: today the public gets its look at Asian treasures". The Seattle Times. p. C1.
  8. ^ SAM website
  9. ^
  10. ^ (March 9, 2018), March 13 Groundbreaking to Commemorate Start of Museum Renovation & Expansion [1].

External links[edit]