- READER REVIEWS
Asia Society and Museum
Tue-Thu and Sat-Sun, 11am-6pm; Fri, 11am-9pm; Mon, closed; Tue-Sun, 11am-6pm during summer; Mon, closed during summer
Nearby Subway Stops
6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
- Nearby Parking Lots
- Street Parking
$10, $7 seniors, $5 students, children under 16 free; free on Friday from 6pm-9pm
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
John D. Rockefeller III amassed a treasure trove of Asian art, which he eventually donated to the non-profit, international society he founded in 1956. Hailing from more than thirty Asian-Pacific countries, the headquarters’ holdings cover Hindu and Buddhist statuary, temple carvings, Chinese ceramics, and Japanese paintings—dating from around 2000 B.C. to the 19th-century. The total assemblage of works may only number about 300, but Rockefeller was a true connoisseur and these masterpieces make up one of the finest collections in the country. Contemporary Asian art—be it a group show of photography or a single artist installation—also plays a part in the programming. A 2001 renovation greatly enhanced the aesthetics of the building’s interior. (Unfortunately, the rather unattractive pink granite exterior was left largely intact.) From the ground floor, a grand glass and steel staircase swoops up through a central atrium to the four public galleries, which have been doubled in size. Curving shoji screens separate the lobby from an excellent bookstore stocked with a large selection of literature and handicrafts, as well as the wide-ranging publications and media produced by the Society. Upstairs, six of eight floors are devoted to conference rooms, lounges, offices and research centers, reflecting the organization's overarching mission to foster cultural, political and economic relations between the United States and the countries of Asia.The Ganesh Statue
The Elephant god towering overhead in the lobby makes for an eye-popping introduction to the museum.
Every exhibition tour is free with museum admission. Tours are available at 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays with an added 6 p.m. tour on Fridays, and at 2 p.m on the weekends.
Couples can rent a space in this red-granite building which houses paintings, ceramics, and bronzes dating back to 2000 B.C. The eighth floor has sky-blue silk-covered walls and a 42-foot arched window (it allows 150 for dinner), while the glass-enclosed Garden Court holds up to 300 for cocktails (both spaces can be rented for $7,000, which covers the membership fee).