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Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Tues–Sun  10AM–5PM
Monday       Closed

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In the Galleries

The museum’s collection galleries on the second and third floors feature more than 2,000 artworks from all the major cultures of Asia. Artworks in the galleries are regularly rotated, offering visitors a chance to view more of the museum’s collection.
South Asia
The Persian World and West Asia
Southeast Asia
The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World

South Asia
Third Floor, Galleries 1–6
South Asia Galleries
From portraits of Indian rulers to embodiments of the spiritual power of Hindu deities to a contemporary artist's Museum Shop of Fetish Objects, the South Asian collection features artworks created over a period of two thousand years in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Included are more than nineteen hundred sculptures, paintings, historical photographs, and decorative art objects of silver, jade, ivory, and other precious materials. The collection is especially rich in sacred sculpture from the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, where Buddhist ideas mingled with those of Greece and Rome, and the great medieval kingdoms of eastern and southern India.

See what's currently on view:
South Asia to 600
Eastern India 600–1600
Central and Western India 600–1600
Southern India 600–1600
South Asia after 1600
The Sikh Kingdoms

The Persian World and West Asia
Third Floor, Gallery 7
The Persian World and West Asia Gallery
The six hundred objects in this collection represent a wide geographic span — from Afghanistan to Turkey (and including Iran, Uzbekistan, and Iraq) — and date from approximately 2000 BCW to today. Artworks include a range of media such as ceramic vessels, tiles, metalwork, jades, and calligraphies. The strength of the museum's West Asian collection lies in ancient Persian ceramics and metalwork, as well as in Persian ceramics from the eleventh through the fourteenth centuries.

See what's currently on view:
The Persian World and West Asia

Southeast Asia
Third Floor, Galleries 8–11
Southeast Asia Galleries
Images of Hindu and Buddhist gods in bronze and stone, paintings of heroic epics, and elaborately decorated luxury goods highlight the collection of arts from Southeast Asia (particularly Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam). Notable among the two thousand works are Hindu and Buddhist sculpture of the great ancient kingdoms of Angkor and Java, rare ceramics from fourteenth- to sixteenth-century Vietnam and Thailand, an impressive array of theatrical arts including vivid puppets and shadow figures, and one of the country's most important collections of nineteenth-century arts of Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), and Bali. 

See what's currently on view:
Early Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia 600–1300
Southeast Asia 1300–1800
Southeast Asia after 1800

The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World
Third Floor, Gallery 12
The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World Gallery
The Himalayan department curates art from Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan, and China. The objects in the collection include bronze and lacquer sculptures ranging in date from the twelfth to the twentieth century. More than 150 paintings from the same date range rotate twice per year. Our bronzes and paintings were mostly created by and for the practice of Vajrayana or esoteric Buddhism, but elements of Hinduism, Taoism, and Bon are here as well. In addition, the collection features a full panoply of Buddhist ritual objects; several historically important manuscripts and manuscript covers round out the collection.

See what's currently on view:
The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World

China through 960 CE Galleries
Comprising seven thousand works and spanning more than six thousand years, the Chinese collection ranks among the best outside of China and is the foundation of the museum’s world-renowned Avery Brundage Collection. This remarkable collection presents a panorama of masterworks that embody a vast, complex, and diverse range of styles, designs, and craftsmanship, with strengths in ritual bronzes, jade carvings, Buddhist sculpture, lacquerwares, and decorative ceramics. From Neolithic pieces to contemporary creations, more than eleven hundred artworks on display illustrate the creativity and richness of Chinese culture, offering a window into China’s past and present.

through 960 CE
Third Floor, Galleries 13–16
See what's currently on view:
Chinese Jade Treasury
China to 221 BCE
China 221 BCE–960 Ce
Chinese Buddhist Art

960 CE – Present
Second Floor, Galleries 17–20 and Loggia
See what's currently on view:
China 960–1911
Chinese Painting
Chinese Imperial Arts 1644–1911
Chao Shao-an and Chinese Painting since 1900
Chinese Ceramics (Loggia)

Second Floor, Galleries 21–23
Korea Galleries
The Asian Art Museum has been at the forefront in promoting and collecting Korean art and culture outside of Korea. The museum's distinctive Korean art collection encompasses more than eight hundred objects. It is especially noted for its Goryeo-dynasty (918–1392) celadons, as well as rare unglazed stonewares from the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE–668 CE) and Unified Silla period (668–935). The collection also includes a large group of paintings and bojagi (wrapping cloths), and it has the largest number of mother-of-pearl lacquerwares from the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) in the United States.

See what's currently on view:
Korea through 1392
Korea 1392–1910
Korea 1910 to the Present

Second Floor, Galleries 25–31
Japan Galleries
Japan is an archipelago of four major and numerous smaller islands. The islands lie in an arc across the Pacific coast of northeastern Asia. Japan's closest neighbors are Korea and China, which both greatly inspired Japanese art and culture. For much of its history, the seas protected Japan from invasion, and over time foreign ideas were incorporated into a unique cultural setting.

The Japanese collection is second in size only to Chinese among the museum's collections. Its fifty-five hundred Japanese art works, including ceramics, baskets, paintings, and prints, range from as early as 3000 BCE to the twenty-first century.

See what's currently on view:
Early Japan
Japanese Buddhist Art
Japanese Arts of Daily Life
Japanese Paintings and Screens
Japanese Porcelain and Prints
Japanese Tearoom, Tea-related Arts, Bamboo Arts
Betty Bogart Contemplative Alcove