The history

The Billie Trimble Chandler Arts Foundation, Inc., which is also known as The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures  and Education Center, was established in 1974 as a non-profit organization. The primary objective of the museum is to enhance people's understanding of Asian cultures by providing educational programs, exhibitions, and cultural events based on its vast collection of Asian artifacts. The museum houses a plethora of artifacts, including a five-foot bronze Amida Buddha, traditional costumes, Japanese Hakata dolls, paintings, and collections from various countries such as China, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India.

The entire museum is the brainchild of Mrs. Billie Trimble Chandler, who lived and taught to children in US base in Japan and other countries for nearly seventeen years, starting in the late 1950s. During her stay, she collected thousands of artifacts and commissioned numerous works of art, which became the core of the museum's collection when she returned to Corpus Christi, Texas. The collection was later expanded to include items from other Pacific Rim nations and the Indian subcontinent. Reflecting this broader scope, in 1982, the institution became the Museum of Oriental Cultures.

In 1996, the museum's collection was shifted to a new location in the city's convention and museum district after multiple relocations. The museum also underwent a name change, becoming The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures and  Education Center.

The current museum building was designed by Elizabeth Chu, who was born in China. She designed the complex to resemble an Asian residential neighborhood in scale and feel. The architects intentionally avoided literal representations and instead captured the spirit of Asian cultures through simplicity and attention to materials.