The Wing Luke Asian Museum is located in Seattle's Chinatown International District along 7th Avenue. It is dedicated to engaging the public to explore issues related to the culture, art and history ofAsian Pacific Americans. It is the only pan-Asian Pacific Americancommunity-based museum inAmerica, highlighting the issues and life-experiences of one of the fastest-growing racial groups in the US.
The museum is named in honor of the late Seattle City Council member Wing Luke , who wasthe first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest .Initially the museum focused on Asian folk art , but soon expanded itsprogramming to reflect the diversity of the local community. Almost fromthe beginning art was integral to its programming and the museum servedas a venue for emerging local artists. By the 1980s pan-Asian exhibitsgenerated by community volunteers became central to the museum.
In 2008 the museum relocated to its new much larger home at 719 S King St, housed in the renovated 1910 East Kong YickBuilding . The new Wing Luke Asian Museum continues its work addressingcivil rights and social justice issues while also preserving historicspaces within the building including the former Gee How Oak TinAssociation room, the Freeman SRO Hotel, a Canton Alley familyapartment, and the Yick Fung Mercantile.
Alongside the costumes, fabrics, crafts, and photographs that kids will love, the museum also provides sophisticated looks at how immigrants and their descendants have transformed and been transformed by American culture. The most poignant and sobering part of the museum is an excellent multimedia exhibit dealing with the internment of Japanese-American citizens in camps during World War II.
The museum is a great place to start your tour of the I.D., as it will provide a context to the neighborhood and the communities living here that you won't get by simply wandering around. The museum price is $4 per person with the first Thursday of every month free. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekend's noon to 4 p.m.
Timed tours are offered daily and the tour price includes general admission to the museum. Tickets can be reserved in advance or purchased at the front admissions desk.
A museum shop is open to the public and offers a vibrant collection of books, jewelry, clothing, accessories, and gifts that reflect the Asian Pacific Islander. Sales proceeds support the mission programs and exhibitions of the Wing Luke Asian Museum.
The museum also collects and preserves artifacts, photographs, archives and oral histories pertaining to the history, culture and art of the Asian Pacific American community.The Governor Gary Locke Library & Community Heritage Center (GGLL-CHC) is a new initiative to spark preservation efforts among Asian Pacific American communities in the Pacific Northwest and increase access to a wealth of historic resource materials. The GGLL-CHC provides equal access to all of the Museum's resources through a digital database available at the Museum in the library and through a version of the database on the Museum website.