Asian Art Museum

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Asian Art Museum Looking for the best events & exhibits at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco? Check out Party Earth for schedules, photos, videos, & more for this great museum! San Francisco United States 37.780264 -122.416384
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Asian Art Museum  - Museum in San Francisco.
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INFO The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco boasts more than 17,000 works of art and artifacts from all major Asian countries, including Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea, South Asia, West Asia, and Japan. Some pieces... ... read more

Asian Art Museum Information

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco boasts more than 17,000 works of art and artifacts from all major Asian countries, including Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, China, Korea, South Asia, West Asia, and Japan. Some pieces are nearly 6,000 years old.

Chicago millionaire Avery Brundage was a major collector of Asian art and was responsible for establishing the Society for Asian Art in 1958, and eventually an entire wing of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in 1966. Brundage donated more than 7,700 Asian art objects before his death in 1975.

In 1975, the Asian Art Museum featured the first major Chinese exhibition to travel outside China since the end of World War II, as well as an exhibition on Wisdom and Compassion opened by the Dalai Lama in 1991.

Until 2003, the Asian Art Museum continued to share a space with the de Young Museum, but eventually the collection grew too large to house. In 1987 the mayor decided to revitalize Civic Center, and the re-location of the museum became part of that vision. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Chong-Moon Lee kicked off the funding campaign for a $15 million donation.

The entire project, designed by Italian architect Gae Aulenti, cost more than $160 million, completely overhauling the former San Francisco City Library building as well as introducing an indoor sky-lit court. The new facility increased the exhibition space by 75% and the museum reopened its doors in March 2003.

Asian Art Museum User Reviews

Average rating:
Need a day to explore each level of beauty and knowledge here!
Tearsa H. Aug 21, 2013
I've been here a few times and every time is so overwhelmingly breathtaking and informational. I love how much I can learn about so many Asian cultures and nations! I feel like I could spend a whole day on each floor just admiring the hundreds of sculpture, paintings, and artifacts. On the first Sunday of every month is FREE admission day. Make sure you take advantage of all this museum has to offer whether you get in free or not, it's totally worth the visit.
Yay! We Have An Asian Art Museum!
Stuart B. Feb 13, 2013
God, I want to love this place because in theory a museum dedicated to the history and art of Asia is a thrilling concept, but I'm afraid that desire is frequently frustrated every time I go there. The building itself is beautiful, and one of the great regrets of my early days in San Francisco is that I didn't go there when it was still a library because I bet it was the perfect library and I would have loved it in that capacity. Actually, part of the problem the museum has, I think, is that it still more or less feels like a library: contemplative, dour, and very very serious. The collection is decent, albeit surprisingly small, but the lay-out of the building and the incongruity of the thoroughly western architecture and vibe prevent the exhibits from achieving the dynamic quality one gets more readily from the de Young or even the Legion of Honor. Sometimes the visiting shows provide a bit of interest, but if there is nothing really exciting going on at the moment I sincerely feel there's no real compelling reason to just head to the museum for a day unless you just really really like Asian Art, and if you do- they have some and so you should go check it out. Perhaps this is even an ideal place for an introduction to Asian Art, as the collection is small enough you can go through it in about three or four hours. Still, I suspect for hardcore connoisseurs it will be somewhat disappointing and for museum buffs there just isn't quite enough going on to make you feel like the pulse of the art world has been effectively tapped at this location, or that the experience will be a unique one or the one that wins you over to future museum crawls.
Beautiful Museum
Jackie D. Dec 4, 2012
This relatively recent addition to the SF museum scene is stunning and has a huge collection that spans a large period of time. While not as directly engaging as some of the other SF art museums tend to be, they do have a collection that is worth seeing. The building itself is beautiful and time is well spent wandering through its high ceiling-ed corridors where natural light floods the rooms and illuminates the space. This museum also tends to lean towards a history museum as well, so unless you are interested in either art or history (or both) it probably would not be as engaging as the more diverse and expansive collections of say, the De young museum.
Cool for art lovers
Caroline c. Nov 28, 2012
If you are into art and history, this is the place for you. It is really unique and has tons of really cool Asian American art. The staff at the museum are so knowledgeable and really nice. They have a large collection of art spanning over 6,000 years which really helps give you a greater understanding of Asian American culture. The architecture is really impressive and beautiful. They also have a nice gift shop with lots of books and prints of some of the work. I would suggest blocking out a few hours to go through the whole museum. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who appreciates art.
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