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Tour Options

Special Exhibition Tours

Painting Is My Everything: Art from India's Mithila Region
September 7 – December 30, 2018

19993937 Mithila

Explore how a previously private, age-old tradition of women’s domestic decoration became a vibrant arts movement with surprising social impact.
For centuries, Maithil women have painted gods and goddesses, richly ornamented icons of fertility and protection on the walls and floors of their homes.  In the mid-1960s, a government-led initiative encouraged women to transfer their traditional art style from the walls of their huts to paper, resulting in a life-and-community changing source of female-generated income.

Kimono Refashioned
February 8 – May 5, 2019

Kimono Refashioned explores the impact of kimono on the world of fashion. Featuring works from the renowned Kyoto Costume Institute, it includes Japanese and Western designs, men’s and women’s apparel, and both exacting and impressionistic references to kimono. Motifs used to decorate kimono, its form and silhouette, and its two-dimensional structure and linear cut have all been refashioned into a wide array of garments.

Collection Tours

For a full list of tours available please contact groupvisits@asianart.org.

Great Works
Take a trip across Asia with highlights of the Asian Art Museum’s rich collection, investigating diverse and intriguing cultures as well as sacred and secular art. This is both the perfect introduction to the Asian Art Museum’s collection for the first-time visitor and a superb way to experience the collection over and over again. 

The Buddha: Art and Culture
Follow the ancient faith of Buddhism to discover the roles geography, social, and cultural needs played in artistic representations of the Buddha. The political and economic factors that affected the art and the evolution of the Buddhist image are also explored.

Asian Ceramics
The Asian Art Museum’s comprehensive ceramics collection showcases the decorative motifs and technologies that evolved from Neolithic times to the exquisite wares of later periods which were prized throughout the world for their beauty and importance as trade and tribute objects. Ceramics from across Asian are explored. 

The Japanese Aesthetic
Explore the aesthetically appealing range of objects in the Asian’s Japan galleries in diverse mediums from painting to ceramics. Particularly appealing are the bamboo baskets which are rotated on a regular basis so there is always something new to discover. 

The Spirit of Korean Art
Become enchanted by the Asian Art Museum’s collection of Korean art. On view are objects which show the beauty of Goryeo-dynasty celadons (pale sea-green porcelain and fine pottery) and rare unglazed stoneware from the Three Kingdoms and Unified Silla periods and a selection of unique contemporary ceramics and works in other materials. The galleries also include a large group of paintings that range in style from courtly to scholarly and Buddhist to folk. 

Architecture Tours

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 historically 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 guest experience of our world-renowned Museum with our transformation project now underway, resulting in a new 13,000-square-foot-exhibition Pavilion and Art terrace designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY.

Stroller Tours

Stroller Tours
Get together with other moms, dads and caregivers along with their babies (ages 0-2 years old) for a Stroller Tour at the Asian Art Museum. Join a docent for an engaging tour that highlights either our world-renowned collections or current special exhibitions. Tours begin at 9:30 am before the museum opens to the public. Fussy babies are always welcome!

Let a Stroller Tour be the perfect way to start a family weekend! Tickets are required and need to be purchased in advance. $25 Adults, Members $10, Children 12 and under are always free. Tickets may not be refunded or exchanged.

Get your tickets now for upcoming tours:

Friday, September 7, 2018
Japanese Aesthetic
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Friday, October 5, 2018
Painting Is My Everything: Art from India's Mithila Region
Buy Tickets

Custom Tours

Planning a trip to Asia soon? Learn more about your destination before getting on the plane! Let us know your itinerary and one of our expert docents will create a customized tour through our collection galleries that focuses on the regions you will be visiting. You’ll gain insight based on the artwork we have on view as well as your docent’s own personal experiences.

For more information on this one-of-a-kind tour, please contact Group Visits at 415.581.3620 or groupvisits@asianart.org.

Monday and After Hours

Want the museum all to yourself? Book a private tour when the museum is normally closed to the public! Choose from any of the Special Exhibition or Collection tour options above. Tours are one to one-and-a-half hours in length, and you have the option to enhance your visit with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres arranged through our Rentals department (additional fees apply). This experience is perfect for a get-together with friends or a company retreat!

Package price for up to 20 people: $450

After Hours
Package price for up to 10 people: $350
Package price for up to 20 people: $600

Community Speakers Program

Can’t make it to the museum? Let us bring the museum to you! A docent from the Asian Art Museum's Community Speakers Program can deliver an educational and entertaining multimedia talk at your location. Visit the Community Speakers Program page for more information or to request a talk.