• Ideas
  • Feb 14, 2020

Seattle Asian Art Museum Reopens With Strengthened Cross-Cultural Focus


If, as in many Asian cultures, dragons are a symbol of fortune and good luck, then the reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum after a three-year renovation and retrofit by Seattle-based LMN Architects of the 1930s Carl F. Gould-designed Art Deco building boasted an auspicious beginning. A large, one-meter-tall wooden sculpture dated to 14th century China depicting a man swathed in tempestuous, wind-whipped robes—previously thought to be a monk—was discovered to bear an inscription on his back during its time off view. The inscription revealed that the work was instead of a Dragon Tamer Luohan, a disciple of the Buddha and a figure associated with controlling rain, coincidentally apropos of the fact that it rains almost half the year in Seattle.