Asian Art Museum

Highly recommended
Housed since 2003 in the old Main Library-which was significantly revamped for its new tenant-the Asian Art Museum owns what is today considered to be the finest collection of Asian art in the nation. With particular strengths in Chinese art, including jades, ceramics, ritual bronzes and paintings from the Ming and Qing dynasties, the trove of some 15,000 works spanning 6,000 years also contains the country's most comprehensive assemblage of Japanese art as well as significant holdings of Indian and Southeast Asian religious statuary, and Korean, Himalayan and Near Eastern artwork. The 2,500 works on display are arranged geographically, broadly tracing the path of Buddhism as it spread through Asia. Three major themes are addressed in all the galleries: the development of Buddhism, trade and cultural exchange, and local beliefs and practices. Start your visit by taking the elevator to the third-foor South Asia gallery suite, then proceed through the exhibits down to the ground floor, where temporary exhibits are mounted. Note that the works are regularly rotated, so not all pieces discussed here will be on view.Tea ceremonies are held twice a month in the Japanese tea room on the second floor. Check the Web site to see if you will be in town for one of them ($20 includes museum admission; be sure to make reservations well in advance as seating is limited).

Useful information

Address:

200 Larkin Street, 94102 San Francisco

Phone:

+1 415-581-3500

Price:

15 $ (-11 years old free of charge)

Opening hours

daily except Mon 10am-5pm (9pm Thu)

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