Asian Arts Council logo Asian Arts Council logo text
... of The San Diego Museum of Art


As one of the oldest support councils of The San Diego Museum of Art the Asian Arts Council (AAC) has played a significant role in the history of the Museum. It exists to foster interest in the Museum’s Asian art collection and to support curatorial efforts. Our monthly meetings feature programs by visiting scholars chosen to expand our knowledge of our rich and varied Asian collection, an exhibition, artist, medium or historical period. We have an active study group promoting in depth study on a variety of topics. Organized trips include bus trips to other Southern California museums and travel to other cities to enjoy exhibitions of Asian interest. The Asian Arts Council affords members a rich experience of Asian art and a deeper appreciation of the objects in our permanent collection. Please join us!

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Art of East Asia

The Museum’s Asian Art Collection

Of the holdings of the Museum’s permanent collection, almost 50% consists of Asian objects spanning many cultures, historical periods and media. The ongoing gallery rotations from the permanent collection, coupled with periodic special exhibitions, offer a rich, stimulating and diverse visual experience for members, visitors and guests.

Art of East Asia: The Galleries

Proudly opened in February, 2012. The Art of East Asia features works from Japan, China and Korea arranged in five distinctive gallery settings.

Art of East Asia docent tours.
Click here for schedule.

banner - South Asian, Southeast Asian and Persian Art

South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Persian Art

Docent tours. Click here for schedule.

Galleries 9, 10 & 11

Reinstalled galleries opened last July

Paintings from the esteemed Edwin Binney 3rd Collection are featured in Gallery 10. The South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Persian Art galleries have been updated by Curator Marika Sardar in a major reinstallation. Visit soon!

Behind the Scenes: The Museum Collections

The Museum's magic is brought forth by the brilliance of curators and staff through exhibitions, research, conservation and protecting the Museum's art works. For up-to-date details on making the newest exhibition, click here.

Behind the Museum:
Basement Entrance Closed

Back entrance to the Museum

This picture was taken from the Museum on February 26th. The San Diego Zoo is enhancing Old Globe Way and build a parking lot for Zoo staff in the canyon behind our Museum. This project commenced mid-July 2014 and was scheduled to be finished by March 2015.The result will be a beautified, resurfaced and well-lit pedestrian pathway which will include improved drop-off for visitors and a valet drop-off for evening events in the park.

AAC General Meetings
& Lectures

These meetings feature distinguished speakers with expertise on a wide range of topics related to Asian art. We meet on the last Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the Museum Boardroom with the exception of November and December. Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner in November and join us for the Heritage Luncheon and Silent Auction in December. The meetings are free for AAC members and only $10 for Museum members and $12 for non-Museum members. Students may attend for $8. For a list of dates with lectures for 2015-2016, click here. For a printable calendar of upcoming lectures, click here.


Curious about Asian Art?  Visit our membership page for the great benefits we offer. It’s only $45 for an individual membership.

Study Group

AAC members have an opportunity for in depth research on a theme chosen each year by the group. Study group meets on the third Monday of the month in the Museum’s Boardroom at 10:00 a.m. to hear presentations by its members. (January and February meetings are held on the second Mondays due to holidays, and no meeting in December). For the 2015-2016 theme and a list of topics, click here.


Members receive a subscription to the monthly Asian Arts Council newsletter. To receive a free copy, email for information.

Giving Back

The Asian Arts Council has played a significant role in the history of the Museum by providing funding in support of research, education and conservation. We support curatorial efforts by bringing scholars to the Museum who share their expertise with museum staff and with us at our monthly meetings. In addition to research and  education, ensuring the safety and the future of objects in the collection through conservation and restoration is a special focus of our annual membership renewal appeal and our conservation fund.  To learn more about how we do it and what we’ve done, visit the Giving Back page.

Next Heritage Luncheon, December 1, 2015

Our annual fundraising event will feature an elegant lunch, fine wine and a lecture which ties into the AAC's conservation and acquisition plans for 2016. The speaker, Robert D. Mowry, preeminent scholar of Asian art, Senior Consultant at Christie's. Save the date, December 1st, so you won't miss the Heritage Luncheon!

AAC Board

Courtenay McGowen, past Chair, gave the gavel to the new Chair, Jim Richter
Courtenay McGowen, past Chair, gave the gavel to the new Chair, Jim Richter, at the June, 2014 meeting and reception. Jim continues as Chair for FY 16.

Meets on the third Monday of each month, except for January and February when the Board meets on the second Monday due to the holidays. There is no meeting in December. The all-volunteer Board serves a two year term with Committee Chairs serving, hopefully, forever.  Meetings are open to members. For a list of current officers and committee chairs, click here. For more information, please contact us. To see a calendar, click the link.