The Asian Collection of the RISD Museum includes a small but rich holding of over 100 South Asian pieces from periods ranging from the 12th century to the late 19th century. Largely from India, the objects come from both Northern and Southern regions of the country and represent the work of artists from Rajasthan to Bengal to Kerala. A variety of mediums are represented in the collection, which has a particularly strong core group of Mughal objects. Other themes represented well by the collection include Hinduism, early Buddhism, contact with the British Empire, and particularly drawings and paper.
The Costume and Textile Collection of the RISD Museum possesses approximately 400 pieces from South Asia – many from the regions of Rajasthan, Sind, and Kachchh. The collection includes almost 40 saris, many of which were showcased in a special exhibition in 2005 titled “The Splendid Sari.”