It’s a year of celebration!

It’s a year of celebration!

In 1923, we became the Smithsonian’s first art museum on Washington, DC’s, National Mall. Since then, we’ve grown our collections, expanded our buildings, and earned a reputation for excellence through a century of exhibitions, research, conservation, and cultural exchange. Our centennial year is both a milestone and a springboard for a transformative vision for our next 100 years: to become a global resource for learning, research, and cultural connection.

To mark this historic moment, we’re inviting visitors from around the globe to embark on journeys across centuries and continents through a vibrant program of exhibitions, performances, conversations, learning opportunities, and more. Check back often for more events and offerings to be added throughout the year.

Join us and be part of #TheNext100.

Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art’s Centennial.


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Online Features

Connect with us wherever you are. Watch, listen, read, and explore content related to our centennial year.

trailer: centennial celebrations at the national museum of asian art
storymap: freer's global network

Centennial Exhibitions

From the distant past to the here and now, enter a world of stimulating questions, compelling stories, exceptional objects, and multisensory digital experiences as you engage with the past as well as the pressing issues of the present. Centennial exhibitions introduce many works never seen before in the United States, in conversation with works from our remarkable permanent collection.

archival photos of 4 collectors

Freer’s Global Network: Artists, Collectors, and Dealers

Now open

Learn about the fascinating characters who played instrumental roles in museum founder Charles Lang Freer’s global network. A captivating display of objects—including American paintings and stoneware, Japanese ceramics, ancient Chinese bronzes, and Near Eastern pottery—illustrates that network in operation amid the shifting political and economic environment of the early twentieth century.

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A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur

Opening November 19, 2022

Journey to the palaces, to the city, to the hills, and finally to the cosmos. With dazzling, monumental paintings and an immersive soundscape, A Splendid Land reveals how artists sought to capture the lived experience of this iconic lake city in northwest India.

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detail of a building from an udaipur painting
details of 4 colorful objects

Journey of Color

Opening December 2022

Whether pulverizing gold, crushing lapis lazuli, or grinding cochineal insects, artists across Asia have experimented for millennia with a wealth of minerals, bugs, and plants to create eye-catching pigments.  Join us as we highlight thirty-four objects that reveal how different cultures obtained, produced, and used color to individualize their creations and tell layered, universal stories.

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Anyang: China’s Ancient City of Kings

Opening February 25, 2023

Discover a 3,000-year-old Chinese society through its weapons, jewelry, everyday objects, and ritual treasures—all drawn from our permanent collection. Uncover this UNESCO World Heritage site—the birthplace of Chinese archaeology—and learn about the museum’s connection to its excavation.

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Bronze vessels
Butterfly - rainbow swimmer

Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell

Opening March 25, 2023

Enter a rainbow world with Ay-Ō, a contemporary Japanese artist closely associated with the Demokrato Artist’s Association and Fluxus movements of the 1960s and internationally regarded for his prismatic silkscreen prints. His first major survey in the United States features digital interactives that engage with Ay-Ō’s spirit of playful exploration and optimism.

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Centennial Events

Mark your calendars for a full suite of programs celebrating our 100th year. From festivities to films, conversations to family events, there’s something for everyone.

dancers and musicians from a south asian painting

Centennial Festival

May 1–13, 2023

The National Museum of Asian Art’s centennial will culminate in a two-week festival celebrating Asian art and cultures of the past, present, and future. May 1–13, 2023, the museum and its surroundings on and near the National Mall will be activated by keynote speakers, headline performers, interactive experiences, culinary adventures, and community projects.

News

Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Announces Centennial Celebrations
October 6, 2022
Read this press release in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.


“… the National Museum of Asian Art will kick off its 100th anniversary with a yearlong celebration …”
Washington City Paper

“We’re preparing for another milestone […] the centennial of the Freer Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian’s first art museum.”
Smithsonian Magazine

“The activities […] highlight the larger transformation of the museum into an institution engaged globally and locally.”
Travel and Tour World

Support

Bank of America is the Presenting Sponsor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art’s Centennial.

bank of america logo

The first century of the National Museum of Asian Art has only been possible with your support. Launch the next 100 years of learning and connection with a gift today.