Asian Art Museum - San Francisco - The History
Golden Gate Park was home to the Asian Art Museum for 35 years. In 2003, the museum expanded its exhibit space by moving to the former location of the San Francisco main library -- which is now down the street in a beautiful space of its own.
The renovation of the old library retained the Beaux-Arts exterior elements as well as some interior details. But Italian architect Gae Aulenti created a new interior court, sky-lit spaces and expanded the museum's exhibit space to 40,000 square feet.
Asian Art Collections and Exhibits
More than 6000 years of artistic and cultural tradition are reflected in the Asian Art Museum's collection. It is an amalgamation of sculpture, painting, ceramics, furniture, basket arts and textiles.
The regional breadth represents more than 15,000 objects from India, Southeast Asia, the Persian world, China, Japan, Korea and the Himalayas. Special exhibits since its 2003 opening have featured the Goryeo Dynasty, Masters of Bamboo, The Art of Tetsuya Noda, and Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile.
As with most museums, paid admission isn't necessary to enjoy the cafe (Cafe Asia) and the museum store. The cafeteria-style restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with a pan-Asian menu that includes items like miso soup, curry, sandwiches and Asian-style salads.
The store has a global variety of items and usually includes exhibition-themed items as well.
See the Asian Art Museum's online floor plan (pdf) for a more detailed view of galleries and amenities.
Special Events at the Asian Art Museum
For an interactive tea ceremony, attend one of the museum's special programs in the Japanese Tearoom. The museum's website and monthly calendar lists upcoming tea ceremonies,
MATCHA runs from June through November and is a once-a-month Thursday evening "mixer" series -- with cocktails, music, tours and exhibits.
Throughout the year, the Asian Art Museum offers family programs, performances and lectures -- featured monthly in the museum's online calendar.
The museum website has current admission prices and discounts.
First Sundays of each month are free.
Source: Asian Art Museum