Jesse and Nellie Shwayder Galleries, William Sharpless Jackson Jr. Gallery, Walter + Mona Lutz Gallery & Bj Averitt Gallery, Level 5, North Building
The Denver Art Museum's Asian art collection originated in 1915 with a donation of Chinese and Japanese art objects from a single passionate collector and has broadened to include works from the entire Asian continent. Spanning a period from the fourth millennium B.C. to the present, these objects illustrate the wide-ranging achievements of Asian artists and artisans.
The William Sharpless Jackson Jr. Gallery provides visitors with the opportunity to explore particular aspects of Asian art in greater depth. It features changing exhibitions drawn from the museum's extensive holdings and guest exhibitions from other Asian art collections.
Displays of bamboo art from China, Japan, and Korea are shown in the Walter + Mona Lutz Gallery, a space dedicated exclusively for artwork made of bamboo. The Lutz Bamboo Collection became a family love affair, and the Denver Art Museum is the fortunate recipient of more than 900 gifts from three generations of the Lutz family—Walter and Mona, Tina and Michael Chow, Adelle Lutz and David Byrne, China Chow, Maximilian Chow, and Malu Byrne.
The Bj Averitt Gallery features art from Southwest Asia, including examples from the Anatolian and Arabian peninsulas, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia. Objects in the gallery represent many millennia of art, beginning with the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, and following the flourishing and growth of Islam to the present day. Regions where this culture spread, such as Africa, Southern Europe, and Southeast Asia, also are represented.
Things To Do
Join a docent for a 30-minute, in-depth look at an aspect of the museum’s collections or something special happening in the galleries. More
Demons and monkeys battle. Noblemen and women fall in love, perform valiant deeds, and sometimes betray each other. Both the magical events of the world of superheroes and real human experiences familiar to us all fill the stories of the legendary Indian prince Rama. More
Among all Chinese arts, calligraphy stands out as the most unique visual representation of Chinese philosophy and aesthetic taste. An excellent calligraphy is not just a piece of beautiful visual art; it is also a reflection of the artist’s interpretation of a belief or a philosophical concept.
In this presentation, Chinese calligrapher Harrison Xinshi Tu will elaborate on contemporary Chinese calligraphy through his artistic journey, as well as introduce the DAM’s collection of his arts which are on display in the gallery. More
Sarah Magnatta, interpretive specialist for Asian art, leads a mindful exploration of the Hayagriva mandala. More
The First Emperor’s tomb complex, with its auxiliary pits filled with thousands of life-size terracotta figures, has been hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Other than the massive scale of the underground formation, what is it that we should really wonder about? Mysteries abound. More
The intricate decoration of the items on view includes religious imagery as well as people, animals, birds, insects, plants, and landscapes that tell stories or have symbolic meaning. More
News & Stories
Tianlong Jiao traveled to this valley where ceramists have been working since the 1200s to prepare for From the Fire. See photos and read about his trip, and visit the exhibition to see some of the artists' work. More
The history of Japan’s warring-states period, which lasted from 1467 to 1600, is filled with stories of famous battles and brilliant samurai warriors. Leading armies of tens of thousands, three stood out as the most successful warriors of their time, becoming known as the three unifiers of Japan. More
Various forms of Buddhism played a major role in the life of the samurai, and we find this influence throughout several pieces on display. More
2015 is the centennial anniversary of Asian art at the DAM. More
The Denver Art Museum recently announced that three curators joined the museum. Below is a brief introduction. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to get to know them and their growing art collections.
Tianlong Jiao, Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art More
Ronald Otsuka, the DAM's Dr. Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art, started at the Denver Art Museum in 1973, and this month he retires. More
Select publications by or about the Asian art department include:
- Xu Beihong: Pioneer of Modern Chinese Painting. Ronald Y. Otsuka and Fangfang Xu. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Full Frontal: Contemporary Asian Artists from the Logan Collection. Ronald Y. Otsuka, Tom J. Whitten, and Kent Logan. Denver Art Museum, 2003.
- Adornment for Eternity: Status and Rank in Chinese Ornament. Julie M. White, Emma C. Bunker, and Chen Peifen. Denver Art Museum in association with the Woods Publishing Company, 1994.
- Pathways to the Afterlife: Early Chinese Art from the Sze Hong Collection. Julia M. White and Ronald Y. Otsuka. Denver Art Museum in association with University of Hawaii Press, 1993.
- Tianlong Jiao, Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art
- Douglas R. Wagner, Curatorial Assistant
- Sarah Magnatta, Interpretive Specialist
- Beverly Little, Curator's Circle Coordinator
- Chelsea Finical, Provenance Research Assistant
- Ronald Y. Otsuka, Curator Emeritus, Dr. Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art 1973-2014