Asian Art Society

The Asian Art Society was founded in 1975 and plays an integral role in supporting the Asian Art Department through acquisitions, workshops, symposia, lectures, publications and exhibitions.  Talks by outstanding scholars are sponsored by the group and are free and open to the public.  There are also special gatherings such as exhibition openings and an annual Moon Viewing party for members and invited guests.  Throughout the year an informal Lunch and Learn group meets over lunch to discuss a topic concerning Asian art or a book the group has read.  Travel opportunities to local and national events involving Asian art are also a part of this support group’s mission.

$250 per member
$100 per junior member (under 40)
$50 per student member, with valid full-time student ID

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Upcoming Events

Annual Moon Viewing Party
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Birmingham Museum of Art Red Mountain Memorial Garden

Exhibition Opening
Fall 2017

Henry and June “Jimmy” deH Weldon were passionate collectors.  They loved learning about and finding wonderful pieces to add to their collection. The Weldons were old friends of ours and were very generous over the years with loans and gifts of Asian art to the Museum.  However, it was a total surprise when Jimmy told our Director, Gail Andrews, in early 2012, that she had decided to give the Museum their entire Asian art collection, over 450 pieces.

Major works from all over Asia spanning thousands of years of history enrich our holdings in many ways.  The collection is particularly strong in early Chinese works. Ceramics, metal work, tomb figures and sculpture, are complimented by Japanese paintings and Buddhist sculptures. Indian and Himalayan Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sculptures also abound.

The Museum plans an exhibition of highlights from this outstanding gift that will open in November 2017. The exhibition features over 60 pieces from this collection.

Fall 2016

Moon Viewing Party
September 16, 2016
Birmingham Museum of Art Red Mountain Memorial Garden

This year’s Moon Viewing Party was a great success! Thanks to all who participated.

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© David Bley Storytellers

Lunch and Learn
Thursday, November 10
11:30am // Home Town Super Market/Mr. Chen’s Restaurant
We will have a delicious Chinese lunch followed by a walkthrough/shopping spree of the wonderful new Asian/Middle Eastern/Hispanic market.

Annual Chenoweth Lecture
Wednesday, November 16
The BMA’s Executive Director Gail Andrews will reflect on her tenure of 40 years at the BMA. She will share some of its history and the role she played in helping shape it, as well as what the future may hold for our institution.

Recent Events

New Acquisition Preview Party
May 1, 2016
12:00-2:00 PM
BMA Cafe Patio

Join us as we view and celebrate the newest addition to the BMA’s collection of Asian Art, an 18th century battle screen, purchased with funds provided by the Asian Art Society!

Light refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP by Monday, April 25 to Bethany McClellan at or 205-254-2567.


Detail: Hidemitsu Hayashi, Kyoto, Japan
Folding screen, unknown artist, Japan, Battle of Ichinotani,
about 1750-1800
ink, color and gold on paper, T.2015.221
purchase through general acquisitions with funds from the Asian Art Society

Annual Moon Viewing Party
Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Shiva Welcome party
April 10, 2016
2:00-4:00 PM
BMA Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden

Join the Asian Art Society and Indian Cultural Society to celebrate the installation of our new sculpture of Shiva, the Lord of Dance (Shiva Nataraja). There will be a traditional Hindu blessing, comments and light refreshments.

Eivor and Alston Callahan Lecture: India’s Post-Partition Identity and the Cinematic Image with Dr. Cathleen Cummings
March 5, 2016
6:00- 7:00 PM
BMA Steiner Auditorium

Exhibition Opening: All The Colors of the Rainbow: Uzbekistan Ikats from the Collection of Peggy Slappey
March 17, 2016
6:00- 8:00 PM
BMA 8th Avenue Lobby

Moon Viewing Party
September 28, 2015
6:00- 9:00 PM
Birmingham Botanical Gardens

We are sorry to announce that this year’s Moon Viewing Party, originally scheduled for September 28, is cancelled. The event is cancelled due to rain.

The event will not be re-scheduled. Please look for details about the event next year, and we will hope for better weather then!

We apologize for the inconvenience, and we look forward to seeing you at the Museum again soon.

Special Lecture with Paper Conservator
June 17, 2015
12:00 PM
Birmingham Museum of Art Members Room

The BMA welcomes Dr. Sheila Siegler, DIC, FIIC, MAIC, who is currently a freelance paper conservator, lecturer, and science consultant. This is an event for members of BMA support groups only.

In her talk, Dr. Siegler will discuss what paper is and how it’s made; what deteriorates paper (light, humidity, insects, humans, and more); how to stop deterioration; and how to care for your collection at home, especially photographs.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring 1-2 works on paper from your personal collections. Dr. Siegler will comment on the condition of your works, as well as recommend treatments. Lunch will not be served at the event; however, we encourage you to meet your friends before or after the event for lunch in Oscar’s Café.

Asian Art Society Trip to India
December 21, 2014–January 5, 2015 

AAS India

Twenty-six members of the Indian Culture Society and the Asian Art Society spent Christmas and New Years in southern India. The group had an amazing time visiting temples, palaces, a game preserve (they even saw a tiger!), and watching skilled artists and artisans practicing their ancient crafts. The food, sights, and people were great. They are already looking forward to another trip to India soon!

Moon Viewing Party
October 9, 2014
6:00- 8:30 PM
Japanese Gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

At the 2014 Moon Viewing Party, the Asian Art Society and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens enjoyed specialty food and beverages, art activities, and traditional music in the Douglas Moore Cultural Pavilion located in the Japanese Gardens at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. See pictures from the event below.

Guests at the party also had the opportunity to compose their own haiku.  How did they do? Read them all here


Private Reception and Tour of Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor
Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Asian Art Society gathered at the Museum on June 29 for a private tour of Lethal Beauty, the Museum’s newest exhibition.  Following the tour, members enjoyed food and drinks at a reception in Oscar’s Cafe.