The Asia Society Museum Collection includes the masterpiece-quality Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of traditional Asian art, bequeathed to the Asia Society in 1979 after the death of Mr. Rockefeller, and a growing contemporary collection of significant new media works. The Rockefeller Collection comprises approximately 300 objects of Asian art and artifacts from diverse nations such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Korea, and Japan that date from the eleventh century BCE to the nineteenth century CE. It has particular strengths in Chinese ceramics of the Song and Ming periods, Chola-period Indian bronzes, and Southeast Asian sculptures. The Asia Society Museum Collection now includes acquisitions of traditional Asian art made since 1979, a number of objects bequeathed from the estate of Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, and works from other collectors.
In 2007, the Museum announced an initiative to begin collecting contemporary Asian and Asian American art. The first phase of the collecting program is focused on video, animation, photography, and new media works of art. The contemporary collection currently comprises nearly 100 works of art by artists from Asia and the Americas.
Selected works from the Asia Society Museum Collection are also loaned to and shown as part of special exhibitions throughout the world.