Detail of a 19th century Japanese House Shrine with Meditating Kannon Bosatsu, from the Asian Arts and Culture Center's Permanent Collection.
Detail of House Shrine with Meditating Kannon Bosatsu, Japan, 19th century, wood (lacquered), metal, glass, W-013, gift of Mr. & Mrs. R. Austin Tydings. 

The Asian Arts & Culture Center was established in 1971 when local businessman Frank Roberts donated his collection of Chinese and Japanese ivory sculptures to the university. In the same year, a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities supplemented Mr. Roberts' gift and enabled the center to purchase additional works of art. The Roberts' gift prompted many other collectors to make art donations to Towson University.

The Asian Arts & Culture Center now owns, or has on long-term loan, approximately 600 art objects, both historic and contemporary, from China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Tibet, and other Asian countries. The collection includes ceramics; paintings; wood-block prints; carved ivories; jades; scholars’ rocks; floor and table screens; wood, metal and stone sculptures; textiles; cloisonné enamels and furniture. Selected objects are displayed at the Asian Arts Gallery throughout the academic year.