United States

1400 East Prospect Street, Volunteer Park

WA 98112–3303
Phone: (206) 748-9285
Website: http://www.seattleartmuse

Seattle Asian Art Museum

The Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park opened as the original museum facility in 1933. In 1994, after a new museum building opened in downtown Seattle, this facility reopened as the museum’s center for Asian art and activities.

The Seattle Asian Art Museum is a lively international hub for Asian art and culture, exhibiting Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art.

The museum’s holdings rank in the top 10 outside of Asia, and its Japanese collection is one of the top five in the United States.

The art moderne building, first known as the Seattle Art Museum, was designed in 1933 by Carl Gould, a Paris-trained Seattle architect. Gould created a sequence of small and large rooms that are ideal environments for the exploration of discrete aspects of Asian art. The building was renovated and refurbished from 1991–94 and renamed the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Upcoming renovations and preservation work in 2009 will include improvements to the plumbing, electrical, temperature and humidity controls. These upgrades will allow SAAM to continue showing important Asian art exhibitions, while serving as a community and cultural resource through the collection, education programs and events.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (5)

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Permanent Collection

SAM collects and exhibits objects from across cultures, exploring the connections between past and present.


Of Nature and Friendship: Modern Chinese Paintings from the Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection
February 15–July 29, 2007

Discovering Buddhist Art – Seeking the Sublime
Collection Insight

Pattern Richness in Modern Japanese Textiles

Shirin Neshat: Tooba
January 14, 2006–July 1, 2007

Exhibitions (5)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

Japan Envisions the West:
16th-19th Century Japanese Art from Kobe City Museum
October 11, 2007–January 6, 2008

Gaylen Hansen Retrospective
October 11, 2007–January 6, 2008

Roman Art from the Louvre
February 21–May 11, 2008

Inspiring Impressionism:
The Impressionists and the Art of the Past
June 19–September 21, 2008

Shu: Reinventing Books in Contemporary Chinese Art
August 9–December 2, 2007


$5 general admission; free for SAM members. Free to all visitors on the First Thursday of each month and free for seniors on the First Friday of each month.

Opening hours

Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Getting there

From South: Take I-5 North to Olive Way Exit. Follow up hill (east). Turn left on 15th Avenue East. Turn left on East Prospect Street. The park entrance is at 14th Avenue East and East Prospect Street.

From North: Take I-5 South to Roanoke Street Exit. Turn left over freeway on Roanoke. Turn right on 10th Avenue East. Turn left on East Prospect Street. Entrance to park is at 14th Avenue East and East Prospect Street.


The SAM Shop is located by the main doors to the museum. This small but charming store has a wide variety of Asian merchandise and numerous books about all aspects of Asian art and culture.

Museum members receive a 15% discount. Contact us at 206.654.3160.

Tuesday–Sunday: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

The café is located near the entrance in the Fuller Garden Court. In winter it's an espresso bar. In summer it expands to feature express items including savory tea sandwiches, bento boxes and Asian-inspired salads and wraps. SAM members receive a 10% discount.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

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SAM docents provide free public tours of the museum; private and group
tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Call 654-3123 for
more information. Sign-language interpretation is available with two
weeks’ notice; call 654-3124 (voice) or 654-3137 (TDD).


Annual Seattle Art Museum membership is $60 for individuals, $85 for families, $30 for students, $35 for seniors and $200 for patrons. For further information call (206) 654-3180.