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
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
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.