Located in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward lies the world’s third largest collection of ancient statues in the world. ArtAsia has been in Milwaukee for over 23 years and houses hundreds of Chinese, Malaysian, Mongolian and Tibetan artifacts including instruments, jewelry, masks, furniture, clothing, house ware, tapestries, books, and more. ArtAsia is located in the longstanding Isabella Ryder building, built in 1893 and first occupied by Milwaukee Mirror and Art Glass Works but now housing ArtAsia, a Champagne lounge, and a hair salon.
The massive double doors to ArtAsia open up to an oversized bronze statue of Buddha and a set of stairs that lead to the cash register and first floor. The first floor houses a few dozen glass cases of jewelry like jade stones, gold bracelets, and exquisite rings. A walk down another set of wooden stairs leads to an impressively large basement where most of the artifacts are housed.
The basement is a massive warehouse of Orient artifacts, and delivers a unique sensory experience from the touch of silk fabrics to the sound of singing bowls to the sweet smell of incense. There are Buddha and other deity statues tucked into every nook and cranny of the collection.
Each item has a professionally priced nametag with the artifact name, date of origin, and price on it. The merchandise can get a bit pricey, especially when it comes to the furniture, statues and older items. If you’re planning on going to ArtAsia to purchase something, come with that item in mind because the collection is extensive.
If you plan on visiting the Third Ward, check out ArtAsia! You won’t regret it. Afterwards, discuss what you find over a glass of Champagne at the conjoined Cuvée Champagne lounge!