ALERTDuring lobby construction, visitors should use the far right-hand doors to enter the museum and check in at the new information desk in Bowes South Court. Learn more.

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Spotlight on the Collection

Every few months, we highlight different tours through our world-class collection. Book one of the tours below by December 31, 2019, and receive a 20% discount!

Jade, Stone of Heaven
Over time, jade has come to be associated in popular belief with everything that is powerful, beautiful and precious. Learn about the dedication, patience and years of training jade craftsmen harnessed to produce objects of such beauty, as well as the fascination that jade held for the powerful Chinese and Mughal aristocracies. With more than 1,200 jade pieces covering a span of 5,000 years, the museum's collection ranks among the finest ever assembled under one roof.

Lost at Sea: Art Recovered from Shipwrecks
Nov. 26, 2019–Mar. 22, 2020
A fierce three-headed serpent and a mysterious female deity were among the nearly two dozen 12th-century stone reliefs from Central Vietnam that lay unseen at the bottom of the Arabian Sea for nearly 120 years. Almost 5,000 miles away in the South China Sea, blue-and-white ceramic bowls, plates and jars rested in the hold of a sunken ship off the coast of Vietnam for more than five centuries. Preserved like time capsules under the seas, these shipwrecks contained artworks that were excavated in the 1990s by marine archaeologists, sold at auction, purchased by individual collectors and then donated to the museum.
Chang Dai-Chien: Painting from Heart to Hand
Nov. 26, 2019–April 26, 2020
Chang Dai-chien is one of the most acclaimed Chinese artists of the 20th century. To mark the 120th anniversary of his birth and 47 years since his previous solo show at the museum, we are inaugurating the newly renovated Chinese painting gallery with Chang Dai-chien: Painting from Heart to Hand. Comprising works donated to the museum by the artist, as well as loans from his friends and family, the exhibition spotlights Chang’s groundbreaking modernization of ink painting.

Museum Architecture Tour
The Asian Art Museum opened in its Civic Center location in March 2003, in San Francisco’s former Main Library building. The original building was designed by George Kelham in the Beaux-Arts style and opened as the library in 1917. Explore the preserved architectural features of the original building and learn how Italian architect Gae Aulenti applied adaptive reuse techniques to transform it into a museum.

Discover how the museum is looking to the future as we transform the visitor experience of our world-renowned museum with our transformation project now underway, resulting in a new pavilion and art terrace designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY.

Photo: Mythical bird presenting a vessel, approx. 1900-1949. China. Jadeite. Asian Art Museum, The Avery Brundage Collection, B60J24+. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.