The collection of Japanese and Korean art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art includes nearly 8,000 works ranging from ancient to contemporary and is among the top four collections in the United States. The permanent display space for Japanese art is the largest in the Western world with 16 galleries and over 10,000 square feet (930 sqm). The collection itself includes Buddhist sculpture, woodblock prints, paintings, lacquer, works of bamboo, and ceramics, and it is particularly rich in works from the Edo period (1603–1868). Two historic rooms, a formal audience hall (shoin) and a teahouse (chashitsu), allow highly visible installations within the permanent galleries and serve to heighten awareness of the relationship between art and architecture.
The Japanese and Korean Art Department has benefited greatly from generous gifts from knowledgeable collectors. Richard P. Gale, Louis W. Hill, Jr., Ruth and Bruce Dayton, and Ellen and Fred Wells have all donated specialized collections of international reputation. With the addition of over 1,500 works of art from the collections of Elizabeth and Willard “Bill” Clark and the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in 2013 and more than half of the world-renowned Mary Griggs Burke collection, the Japanese and Korean art galleries are no doubt a destination for art enthusiasts and scholars alike. The department is dedicated to providing the public with a broad overview of Japanese and Korean art. By showcasing art both chronologically and by medium, the galleries show the history of not only the objects themselves, but also of a collected process of artistic creation.