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About MEAA

About Us

Just minutes from Bath’s Royal Crescent and The Circus, in a restored Georgian townhouse, is the only UK museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of East and South East Asia: The Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA). 

Since opening in April 1993, MEAA’s unique tranquil space and rare collection has drawn a mix of tourists, scholars and students.

MEAA’s collection consists of nearly 2,000 sets of objects from East and South East Asia. The collection of Chinese art is particularly comprehensive, spanning in date from 5,000 BC to the present and covering ceramics, jades, bronzes and much more.  Some of the Chinese bamboo and wood carvings are among the finest found in European collections.

Frequent special exhibitions and a rich events programme help deliver the museum’s aim of encouraging greater understanding of East and Southeast Asian arts and cultures.

The Founder 

The Museum of East Asian Art is an independent museum. It was founded by Brian McElney OBE, a prominent former lawyer and long-time resident of Hong Kong.

It was in London that his lifelong interest in Chinese art began. In 1955 he bought his first piece, a 17th century gilt brass Sakyamuni Buddha. Despite his modest means at that time his collecting dominated his non-work interests, and he devoted many hours to achieving a deep understanding of Chinese art. Brian initially concentrated on collecting blue and white porcelain from China but his interest soon extended to other types of objects.

After his retirement to the UK Brian donated his collection to form the Museum which opened to the public in 1993 as an education charity. The collection has been added to by long-term loans and donations by the public over the years.

Mission Statement

The Museum of East Asian Art is the only museum in the UK solely dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of East and Southeast Asian arts and cultures.

We collect, preserve and exhibit artefacts representing more than 7,000 years of artistry and craftsmanship from East and South East Asia.

We offer a broad range of opportunities to enjoy and learn about our unique collection and strive to be as accessible to as wide an audience as possible. To achieve this we encourage education, creativity, dialogue and research, and deliver a wide programme of rich learning and cultural experiences.

Find Us

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Contact Details


The Museum of East Asian Art,
12 Bennett Street,



+44(0) 1225 464640