The MFA’s Asian art collection covers the creative achievement of more than half the world’s population since 4000 BC. The collection of more than 100,000 objects includes paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, and other art forms from Japan, China, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world.
The MFA houses the finest collection of Japanese art outside Japan. The early Buddhist paintings and sculpture are the envy of even Japanese museums; highlights are on display in our Japanese Buddhist Temple, Gallery 279. The Kano-school paintings, ukiyo-e paintings and prints, swords and No masks are unmatched in the West. The Chinese and Indian collections are similarly celebrated, known particularly for their paintings and sculpture from across multiple centuries. The Islamic collection, a hidden treasure of the MFA, is one of the best four such collections in the United States. The Himalayan and Southeast Asian holdings are much smaller, but each of these collections contains familiar masterpieces such as an early 11th-century statue of Ganesh, on view in Gallery 176. The Korean collection has important ceramics and Buddhist paintings, on view in Gallery 179.