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Art/ Libraries and Research Centers/ Thomas J. Watson Library/ Research/ Index of Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists

Index of Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists

The Index of Asian American and Pacific Islander Artists (IAAPI) is a research aid for identifying publications in Watsonline, the online catalog of the Metropolitan Museum of Art libraries, by and about artists of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage who have lived, worked, and studied in North America, primarily the United States. 

Inclusion in the Index indicates that an artist's name appears in one or more Watsonline records: the extent to which each artist is represented ranges from a single entry in an encyclopedia or biographical dictionary to more than one hundred titles. Artists are included based on self-identification, scholarship, or other public acknowledgement of their Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritages, from the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Birthplace, nationality status, and individual immigration history are not determining factors for inclusion or exclusion. 

Please note that this Index is still in development and is not a comprehensive list of all Asian American or Pacific Islander artists represented in the Met libraries; as such, we recommend searching Watsonline directly for artists not listed. We encourage researchers to share with us via email the names of additional artists whom they find documented within Watsonline, so that we may add them to this resource in future updates. Suggestions for further additions and corrections to any of the published information are invited.   

Entries include hyperlinks to: Watsonline searches customized for variant name form and keyword phrase configurations; Wikipedia entries (as available), provided to facilitate discovery and introductions to artists' work; Met Collection links to artworks in the museum collection; and artist pages on artasiamerica, a historical image and document archive specialized in Asian American visual culture from 1945 to the present, compiled and published by the Asian American Arts Centre.

Click the A diagonally-oriented, two-headed arrow used to enter full screen mode on the Dashboard. expand icon to view the index in full screen mode.


Artists may appear in other publications held by the Met beyond the ones shown through the Watsonline search links above: catalog records for group exhibition catalogs and general surveys rarely list all artists represented; additionally, journal and periodical contents are not indexed within Watsonline and should be searched by publication title. Researchers wishing to do more comprehensive research may benefit from consulting the external links provided, and other databases. 

In sharing this index, we hope that in addition to facilitating awareness, discoverability, and wider use of Watson’s collection, scholars, specialists, curators, collectors, gallery owners, and artists themselves will easily identify and notify us of significant omissions and missing titles. Offers and donations of publications not held, and/or funds to acquire them, are welcome and appreciated. To support this initiative, please contact Jared Ash (  

Guidance and assistance

Reference help is available through Watson Library via email or online chat. Chat assistance is available Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm EST, by visiting Watsonline and selecting the Ask a Librarian pop-up on the right of the screen. 

For help via email, or other questions, comments, corrections, or concerns, please contact us at


This index has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan, as part of an initiative to assess, expand, and promote access to the library’s collection of publications by and about Indigenous American, Hispanic American/Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander artists. This project builds upon earlier library initiatives focused on African American artists in the Met Libraries, including an Index of Black Artists of North America.

Index project members are Anna Lee, Raymond Lei, Daisy Paul, and Jared Ash. Additional assistance has been provided by Loyalty Traster-Lee and Kai McGinn.  


Image (from Research page): David Paul Chun, San Francisco Pier, 1943.