The Architecture of the Original Museum

The Architecture of the Original Museum

The Art Deco building, designed by architects Carl F. Gould ​and Charles Bebb.

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In 1931, Dr. Richard E. Fuller and his mother, Margaret E. MacTavish Fuller, decided to donate $250,000 for the purpose of constructing an art museum in Volunteer Park on the crest of Capitol Hill.

Art Deco was at the height of its popularity—it was stylish, it was modern, and it was artful in its very conception—and so it's no wonder why Dr. Fuller and his architects, Carl F. Gould and Charles Herbert Bebb, seized upon it as the appropriate style for the new building.

The building was marked by bold aesthetic sensibility and superb craftsmanship. Right down to its very details, the design reflected the new machine age.

Now the Asian Art Museum—which houses SAM's renowned collections of Asian works—the elegant jewel box of a building was built to embody the spirit of artistic invention.