If you are exploring San Francisco real estate, you may also want to take a look at all the unique places that make this city so desirable. There is a reason why homes may be a little more here than other places in the country, but locals will tell you that they are worth every penny. From gorgeous weather to beautiful beaches to history and culture, San Francisco has it all. The Asian Art Museum is a prime example of the unique establishment you will get to enjoy here.
This museum is known around the world as it houses more than 6,000 years’ worth of history in its 18,000+ pieces of Asian art. Even someone who doesn’t typically enjoy museums or art will find this venue pretty special.
Avery Brundage, a Detroit native, donated a portion of his Asian art collection to the city in the late 1950s, with the condition that a museum would be built to display it. Upon his death in 1975, he left his remaining collection to the museum as well, making it one of America’s greatest collections.
In June 1975, its first international exhibit attracted 800,000 guests in only two months. From then, it just continued to grow and explode in popularity. Thanks to a $15 million donation by Chong-Moon Lee, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a new facility was built and opened at its current location on 20 March 2003.
Although you are always free to explore the museum on your own, most prefer to enjoy some type of tour to learn a little history about the important pieces. There are a ton of guided group tours available, but if you prefer a more intimate and interactive experience, you will want to sign up for a private guided tour. These are available with the museum’s very knowledgeable docents. You will learn not only about many of the permanent galleries, but also about the architecture of the building and special exhibits as well.
These private tours are available Tuesday through Sunday and last about an hour. They must be reserved and paid for two weeks in advance.
You really can’t appreciate just how astonishing this entire collection is until you have seen these pieces up close.
- China – You will find much of the art crafted from bamboo, ivory, horn and glass. There are textiles, lacquers, paintings, sculptures and bronzes that span from the Neolithic period until today, including jades that are thousands of years old.
- Japan – Outside of Japan, this is where you will find the most significant bamboo basket collection. You will find very important woodblock prints that date back to the 18th century as well as textiles, decorative art, paintings, sculptures and even hand-painted screens, scrolls and ceramics dating back to the third millennium.
- Korea – Significant pieces can be seen from the Three Kingdoms period, Unified Silla period and Goryeo dynasty. There are exquisite textiles, lacquered items and even paintings from the Buddhist, scholarly, courtly and folk traditions.
- Southeast Asia – Paintings, terracotta, ceramics, textiles and jewelry can be seen from the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia and Vietnam, and the museum houses one of Thailand’s most important painting collections.
- South Asia – You do not have to be a Buddhist to appreciate Indian stone sculptures from the birthplace of Buddhism. You will also see jades, bronzes, wood carvings, paintings and more that reflect India’s many religions over a 2,000-year time.
This is just a tip of the iceberg of what the Asian Art Museum has to offer. If you are in town exploring San Francisco real estate, consider spending a few hours or an entire day here to just allow yourself to drink in a generous serving of history and rich culture.
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