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The Institute's collection of Asian art represents seventeen Asian cultures spanning over 5,000 years. The Department of Asian Arts has benefited greatly from generous gifts from knowledgeable collectors. Augustus L. Searle, Alfred F. Pillsbury, Richard P. Gale, Louis W. Hill, Jr., and Ruth and Bruce Dayton have donated specialized collections of international reputation, including ancient Chinese bronzes, ancient and post-Sung jade, Chinese monochrome ceramics, Ukiyo-e paintings, Japanese prints, and classical Chinese furniture. In addition, highly regarded specialized collections of Ch'ing dynasty silk textiles, Miao textiles, and surimono prints have been built over the years. The curatorial department's goal is to provide the public with a broad overview of Asian art.

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