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Resources: Museum and Art Gallery Collections

This page introduces Australian and international art galleries and museums with extensive Japanese collections that can be viewed and searched online in English.

Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Japan Collection

The Art Gallery of NSW holds over 1,500 Japan-related objects in its collection, dating from prehistoric Jomon times to present, with a focus on Edo-period works.

Art Gallery of NSW, Japan Collection

Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA)

The Art Gallery of South Australia has over 900 Japan-related items in its collection that can be browsed online, including netsuke, ukiyo-e prints, maps, sword fittings, ceramics and textiles. The majority of works date from the Meiji and Edo periods, however work from as early as the Kamakura period is also featured. 

Art Gallery of South Australia


Colbase, short for ‘Integrated Collections Database of the National Museums, Japan’, showcases the collections of Japan’s four national museums (in Kyoto, Kyushu, Nara and Tokyo), as well as the collection of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Can be browsed in English, as well as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.



e-Museum is a publicly accessible database of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties held by Japan’s national museums, and is produced by Japan’s National Institutes for Cultural Heritage. The platform provides high-resolution images of artworks, as well as explanatory text. Both Japanese and English available.

e-Museum website

Japanese Buddhist Art in European Collections (JBAE) Database

The JBAE database is a collaboration between Japan’s Hosei University and the University of Zurich which documents Japanese Buddhist artworks held in the collections of 55 different museums across 20 countries in Europe. Images are of varying quality. 

Japanese Buddhist Art in European Collections Database

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japanese Collection (Open-Access Images)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has made high-resolution images of many works in its collection freely available for re-use in the public domain. This includes over 18,000 works from its Japanese collection, which spans from the Jomon period to the twentieth century.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum of Arts & Applied Sciences (MAAS; formerly Powerhouse Museum)

The Museum of Arts & Applied Sciences (MAAS) has over 1,200 Japan-related objects in its collection, most of which can be viewed online. Works range from Edo- and Meiji-period decorative arts through to contemporary fashion and commercial/industrial design.

MAAS collection search

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)

The rich collection of Japanese art collection held by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston numbers over 57,000 objects, and includes arms and armour, paintings, prints and textiles.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Asia Collection

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The NGV holds an eclectic collection of Japan-related objects, ranging from traditional works such as Heian-period Buddhist statuary or Edo-period ukiyo-e woodblock prints and sword furniture through to contemporary fashion and commercial art and design from the early twentieth century to present day.

National Gallery of Victoria collection search

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK holds an expansive collection of Japan-related works, including over 30,000 Edo-period ukiyo-e prints, paintings and illustrations.

Victoria and Albert Museum Japan Collection

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Main image: Old Plum, Kano Sansetsu, 1646, Japan, acc. no. 1975.268.48a–d, collection of The Metropolitan Museum, New York (Source). 

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