From its inception, the Museum für Asiatische Kunst has not only been a place of learning for the public, but for scholars too. It had a decisive influence in establishing the subjects of East-Asian and Indian art history at German universities, and with its 'Ostasiatische Zeitschrift', which first appeared in 1912, has made and continues to make a valuable contribution to publishing one of the world’s leading scholarly journals in the field. Its partner journal, the 'Indo-Asiatische Zeitschrift' has been in circulation since 1997.
The traditional and still most important task of the museum is the preservation and care of its collections. This entails them being made accessible to the public through research, documentation, and the publishing of information on collection contents. Through its permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum raises awareness of and disseminates knowledge on the art of the Asian cultural region.
In addition to collection-related research, the museum is also involved in special research projects that centre on art-historical matters. It plays an important role in spreading and sharing knowledge with other national and international museums and research institutions. The Museum für Asiatische Kunst is active at the point where art, education, and science intersect and intermesh. It simultaneously serves as an intermediary between the research culture of the West and scholarship in the East. This forms the underlying basis for its many collaborative projects and the scholarly interaction in which it partakes in the areas of art history and Asian studies in the West and East.