Museums Outside of Japan with Japanese Art Collections

One of the best ways to become acquainted with Japanese history and culture is through its art. I’m not just saying this because I’m taking an Arts of Japan course right now, but because some of my most exhilarating experiences in both America and Japan have been exploring various museums and collections. Whether you’re viewing the ukiyo-e at the Edo-Tokyo Museum or perusing the contemporary Japanese porcelain collection at the Freer-Sackler galleries in D.C., there’s something for everyone. If you keep an eye out, you may even find some local gems, like I did a year ago in catching the Itchiku Kubota exhibit on kimono landscapes in Canton, Ohio.

In any case, here is a list of notable Japanese art collections that can be found within the U.S. Their permanent collections are definitely worth a road trip if you live in the area. And if you keep abreast with their special exhibits, you may find something particularly amazing to check out, although I find pretty much all of it to be amazing. 🙂

– Paula


East Coast:

Boston, Massachusetts: Museum of Fine Arts
Brooklyn, New York: Brooklyn Museum of Art
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Art Museums
New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Art Gallery
New York, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Museum of Art
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Art Museum
Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody Essex Museum
Washington, District of Columbia: Freer gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Worcester, Massachusetts: Worcester Art Museum


Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Museum of Art
Chicago, Illinois: Art Institute of Chicago
Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art
Detroit, Michigan: Detroit Institute of Arts
Kansas City, Missouri: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Oberlin, Ohio: Allen Memorial Art Museum
St. Louis, Missouri: Saint Louis Art Museum


Dallas, Texas: Trammel and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art
Denver, Colorado: Denver Art Museum

West Coast:

Hanford, California: Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center
Honolulu, Hawaii: Honolulu Academy of Arts
Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Portland, Oregon: Portland Art Museum
San Francisco, California: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Seattle, Washington: Seattle Asian Art Museum


This list was compiled from part of the appendix “Museums Outside of Japan with Noted Japanese Art Collections” found in William E. Deal’s Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan. No copyright infringement intended.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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1 Response to Museums Outside of Japan with Japanese Art Collections

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