Mia’s curators are charged with caring for the collection and expanding our knowledge of the world’s artistic traditions.
In 2008 Mia launched an initiative to focus on the art of our times. Through its Department of Contemporary Art, the museum brings a fresh dynamism to its galleries by collecting and exhibiting works by living artists produced since 1960.
Chinese, South Asian, and Southeast Asian Art
Mia’s collection of Chinese, Islamic, and South and Southeast Asian art encompasses the artistic production of a vast ethnic and geographic area, home to half the world’s population.
Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture
Originally established to focus on furniture, metalwork, ceramics, and glass, the department today encompasses more than 18,000 works across all mediums from the Americas and Europe, and dating from the Middle Ages to the present.
Japanese and Korean Art
The collection of Japanese art at Mia includes more than 9,000 works, ranging from prehistoric pottery to contemporary photography, and is among the top five collections in the United States.
Mia’s internationally acclaimed collection of paintings contains nearly 900 European, Latin American, and U.S. works from the 1300s to about 1970. It offers a broad survey of the history of painting in those regions and includes some of the most accomplished works by innovative and influential artists.
Photography and New Media
Established in 1973, the Department of Photography and New Media is one of the nation’s premier collections of photographic media. Holding nearly 13,000 objects spanning the history of the medium and a wide range of technical processes, the collection serves as a dynamic resource for research, exhibition, publication, and programming.
Prints and Drawings
The Department of Prints and Drawings at Mia is home to more than 35,000 original prints, 3,000 drawings, and 3,000 artists’ books and other publications from the 1400s to the present.