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.
During the North Building renovation project the Asian galleries are closed. Please view select pieces from the Denver Art Museum’s Asian art collection in these exhibitions currently on view:
- Ganesha: The Playful Protector features a significant pre-Angkor sculpture on loan from the National Museum of Cambodia, along with sculptures, paintings, and textiles from the DAM's Asian art collection of ancient to modern representations of the Hindu deity.
- Stampede: Animals in Art features artworks from each of the DAM's collections, including modern and contemporary art.
EXPLORE THE COLLECTION ONLINE:
- Browse artworks from the Asian art collection anytime. Check back often for additions and updates.
Art from Southwest Asia, including examples from the Anatolian and Arabian peninsulas, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, are in the Asian art collection. Objects 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.
In addition, the Asian art collection includes more than 900 artworks made of bamboo. The Lutz Bamboo Collection, a family love affair, includes 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.
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
East Asian symbols are found in Islamic art and architecture since the Abbasid period (9th century CE), but have their meaning migrated with them?
First, the talk presents an overview of the reception of East Asian forms in art of the Islamic lands.
Second, it discusses certain unusual images in Islamic illustrated manuscripts that bear a striking resemblance to the East Asian symbol of the ‘Dark Warrior’ – an entwined tortoise and snake. More
News & Stories
On Saturday, February 23, artists, scholars, and curators will meet at the Denver Art Museum for a symposium on Who Owns Culture? Appropriation & Appreciation in the Global Art World. As a global art museum with artworks from many cultures around the world, the DAM is proud to contribute to this complex and ongoing discussion. More
Editor's note: In honor of the Denver Art Museum exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector, we asked Dheepa Sundaram to write a guest article about Ganesha Chathurthi, the celebration of the Hindu god. Ganesha: The Playful Protector is on view through January 13, 2019.
Festivities & Rituals More
This article tells the story of how the Denver Art Museum conserved this map. More
This map is on view in Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion through April 1. Included with general admission. More
Linking Asia is included with general admission, which is free for youth 18 and younger and for members. More
The highlight of the Denver Art Museum’s Ganesha: The Playful Protector is a seventh-century sculpture from Cambodia, a remarkable work of sacred art on loan from the National Museum of Cambodia.
Select publications by or about the Asian art department include:
- From the Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Robert and Lisa Kessler Collection. Tianlong Jiao. Denver Art Museum, 2016.
- 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