Museum of East Asian Art

Somerset, BA1 2QJ

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Feast your eyes on jades, bamboo carvings, bronzes, lacquer and ceramics - this unique museum is situated in a restored Georgian house in central Bath.

It is the only museum in the UK dedicated solely to the arts and cultures of East and Southeast Asia. Its impressive collection includes over 2,000 objects spanning 5,000 BC to the present day, encompassing pieces from China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

Many of the objects in the museum were collected over many years by lawyer and collector Brian McElney OBE, who donated his vast collection acquired during his time living in Hong Kong. He set up the museum as an Education Charity in 1990. Since then, the museum's collections have been added to by donations and new acquisitions.

The museum holds some of the finest bamboo carvings in Europe. Colourful bowls, intricately decorated plates, elegant vases and delicate figurines are all to be found in the impressive ceramics collection.

The jade collection is the most comprehensive in the UK, and includes beautifully crafted animal figurines as well as abstract pieces. One stand-out item is the jade bi-disc  with notches and teeth from the Neolithic period, Shandong or Henan Longshan culture (c.2300–1700BC).

There's a wealth of bronze items, such as the gilt brass Ratnasambhava, patron saint of Nyingmapa sect, made in 18th-century Mongolia.

Art we’ve helped buy at Museum of East Asian Art

 Look out for the tureen with the arms of Pratt, made c. 1800, an important acquisition which we helped with in 2010. 

 In Japan a Tanuki is a kind of racoon dog. The museum's porcelain figure of a Tanuki was given through the Art Fund by David and Anne Hyatt King in 2010.


Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sat,10am – 5pm Sun, 12 – 5pm Closed on Monday and Bank Holiday Mondays; Christmas to New Year (check details on the website)

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)