Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



Priya Frank; Tina Lee; Wendy Pautz


Susan Kunimatsu


The Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) is located in Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, one of the three locations of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). It was built in 1933 as the museum’s first home. After the construction of SAM’s second building in downtown Seattle, the Volunteer Park site was repurposed to showcase the museum’s Asian collections, reopening as the Seattle Asian Art Museum in 1994. From February, 2017 through February, 2020, the building underwent a major renovation and expansion (Seattle Asian Art Museum [SAAM], 2021). This case study focuses on the history of SAAM, its renovation and expansion, its new curatorial design, and the impact of the new and improved facility. It will explore how the SAAM of the 21st century brings the past to the present and bridges the West and the East.

Organization or Event

Seattle Asian Art Museum

Form of Entity


Area of Activity

Presenter, Facility/Venue

Artistic Discipline

Visual Arts