The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has received a $3.5 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow a center dedicated to the conservation, mounting and study of Asian paintings.

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The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has received a $3.5 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish and endow a center dedicated to the conservation and study of Asian paintings.

It will be the only center of its kind in the western U.S., the museum said Thursday.

The Asian Paintings Conservation Center will be located at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, one of only four museums dedicated to Asian art in the U.S. The Seattle Asian Art Museum is being renovated and expanded, with an eye toward completion in 2019. Once it’s open, visitors will be able to see the conservation facility, and conservation projects, through a viewing window.

As part of the grant, SAM must raise $2.5 million in matching funds over four years to create an endowment supporting the center’s operation.

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