Seattle Asian Art Museum

Volunteer Park
1400 East Prospect Street
Seattle, WA 98112

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One lovely but watery Wednesday late in March, we took an Australian visitor to the museum, the wonderful father of our beloved son-in-law, who had put it on his list of places to visit in Seattle. The museum is small, which might be a good thing because almost every piece in it is emotionally moving.  Trust me, even if you grew up whiter than mayonnaise in the heart of the Midwest (as I did), you will feel deeply connected to the monk suddenly surprised by enlightenment.


You will stand in front of the multiply-paneled moon reflecting itself on water and know that you have stood on that spot in your real life, both literally and figuratively.


You will hear the loud yakking music of crows, the background song of so many of our days and early mornings, when you stand in front of the well-known panels of crows, scheduled to be taken down from the permanent exhibit, if what one of the guards told us is true.  If you get there before June 30 and walk through the sweet Hometown Boy exhibit, even though you are whiter than Wonderbread and grew up in the mitten-shaped chamber of the heartland, you will experience Liu Xiaodong’s hometown as your own–the one you remember walking through when you were 10.


The Seattle Asian Art Museum is a place to be savored and cherished, and, lucky for those of us rolling, caning, or walker-ing along, it is very accessible.  When you check out the museum’s website, you will even find a tab on access, which provides information for those with limited mobility, hearing, and sight.  Also, don’t forget to visit the tiny gift shop before you leave.  It is crammed with wonders.

Parking:  There is ample disabled parking in the parking area right in front of the museum.


Entrances:  A long ramp arcs up to the front doors from the right side of the steps (facing them) leading to the museum.  It’s a slow rise for riders with no bumps or moments of worry.  The doors in are spacious and easy to move through.  A guard is usually positioned right at the door and will offer help if you need it.

Spaces:   The galleries are wide with ample room to move and turn.  Nearly everything can easily be seen from a chair.  If you go on a weekday, other visitors will be scarce, so you and your chair can dawdle in front of a gorgeous sculpture for as long as you want without worrying that you’re blocking someone’s view.

Restrooms:  An elevator takes you down to the lower level, and a corridor takes you to the restrooms there.  Doors are easy to open; there are spacious handicapped stalls in the men’s and women’s rooms.

Photos of interior space online:  No, but there are some on Google Images.

Photos of entrances online:  No, but some from a distance on Google Images.

Reservations taken:  Not necessary, but if you want to use one of their free wheelchairs, you might want to call ahead to see if one is available.  Please feel free to tell them that Spoken Wheel highly recommended them!

What the wheelchair pusher has to say:  Once you get inside, it’s flat, wide, and easy.  Getting up to the front door is a little challenging because of the incline, which is a touch on the steep side.

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