What is Asia?
“Asia” is a term invented by the Greeks and Romans, and developed by Western geographers to indicate the land mass east of the Ural Mountains and Ural River, together with offshore islands such as Japan and Java. Culturally, no “Asia” exists, and the peoples who inhabit “Asia” often have little in common with each other.
Recognizing the diversity of the huge area conventionally designated “Asia,” the Asian Art Museum has arranged its collections into seven general groupings: South Asia, the Persian World and West Asia, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World, China, Korea, and Japan. The Asian Art Museum celebrates the artistic accomplishments—in all their variety—of the many different peoples of Asia.