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Gardner Center

The Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas

Gardner Center events explore the vast diversity of Asia and its presence in the world. From history and culture to global development and urban design, we exchange ideas that include dialogue on challenging contemporary issues. We also invite you to experience a range of artistic expression related to Asia.

Founded in 2009 by Mimi Gardner Gates, the Gardner Center offers ongoing programs to share a variety of perspectives and build on our region’s longstanding ties with Asia, share new thinking, and engage with cultures.

The Gardner Center has long-term partnerships with the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and the Elliott Bay Book Company.

Learn more about today's Asian Art Museum, reopen February 2020.


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SCHEDULE

Visit SAM’s calendar for a detailed schedule of Gardner Center programs.

Calendar​​​​

Asia Talks

Writers, artists, community members, non-profit leaders and others engaged with Asia share their ideas, work, and experiences. Talks are dedicated to encounters across cultures—within Asia, between Asia and the rest of the world, and within the museum.

Taking inspiration from the thematic reinstallation of the Asian art collection at the newly renovation Asian Art Museum, the Asia Talks program supports new views on the vast diversity of Asia and arts of Asia’s past and present. Think beyond current national borders as we consider places and people within Asia and its diasporas in talks ranging from authors producing great writing from and about Asia, to local women from South Asia discussing family jewelry traditions, to a daylong session on a single Asian art form.

    Saturday University Lecture Series

    Delve into new themes every season with a different speaker each week. Challenging, thought-provoking, and sometimes surprising, this long-running and always popular lecture series incorporates audience discussion as experts from around the world join us to share their insights on Asia throughout time.


    Expanded my world view tremendously.

    –Series Subscriber

    Image of textile detail

    Color in Asian Art: Material and Meaning

    Presenting an intriguing fall series on color in Asian art, investigating pigment histories, materials, and meanings. Sessions include color and vision in early Buddhist art, trade in turquoise, and much more. Begins October 3.

    Presented with the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies and the Elliott Bay Book Company.

    Image: The Isles of the Immortals on a Spring Morning (detail), 1638, possibly Wang Jianzhang, ink and color on gold-flecked paper, 7 11/16 x 38 1/4 in., Gift of Mrs. John C. Atwood, Jr., 51.134.

    COMING UP​



    Asia Films

    Asia Films

    From classics and documentaries to great yet lesser-known contemporary feature films, films of Asia and its diasporas are screened in the Asian Art Museum auditorium.​​​

      Asia Performs

      photo of the BKO Quintent: five west african men with their native instruments

      Contemporary, traditional, hybrid, international, and local performing artists share their talents at the Asian Art Museum.

      As part of our ongoing partnership with Tasveer, we host annual spring performances of Yoni Ki Baat, with a new production of performers’ stories in this South Asian women’s version of The Vagina Monologues.

      In summer, our free World Music Series takes place outdoors in Volunteer Park on Friday evenings.


        IMAGES: Photo: Catherine Anstett. Photo: Munem Wasif. Image courtesy of the Dunhuang Academy, photo: Wu Jian. Osaka Elegy (Naniwa erejî), 1936, Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi. Photo: courtesy of Shoji Yamamura. Photo: courtesy of BKO Quintet.


        The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.