The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

The Koran

Japanese Calligraphy

Stone Calligraphy From Iran

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is one of the world’s largest Asian museums. It was originally located in Golden Gate Park for over 30 years. Due to the large collections housed in the museum, the city - meaning us voters, voted to move it into the newly renovated main public library location in the civic center area of SF. It has been permanently housed there now for about 6 years. To be honest I was against that move. I thought it should have remained in Golden Gate Park. However, that being said the museum is gorgeous. There are floors dedicated to various regions in Asia to include China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, Persia etc…

There are sculptures and paintings, calligraphy and jewels and so much more. The artwork is strategically placed so that the lighting enhances each piece. These pictures were taken inside, with my inexpensive digital camera and without flash. They did not allow flash within the museum. I never can understand why. Anyway, so as you can see the lighting is excellent.

I am drawn to calligraphy. I wish I could understand the writing. I did and could however imagine the poet who created those intricate pieces and how their passion flowed throughout the scrolls. They are timeless yet simple and elegant pieces of art.

I was also very taken by being able to view the Koran. It is prominently displayed within the Persian exhibit at the museum within a well lighted display case. The writing is in gold and the pages ornately designed.

The Buddhas from all over Asia are simply stunning in this museum. It’s fascinating to explore each Buddha and how they differ from region to region.

The stone calligraphy piece from Iran was also displayed in the Persian exhibit. Again, the calligraphy fascinating and delicately sculptured on stone. It was interesting to see calligraphy in that medium.

I absolutely adore the gift shop there as well. They’ve got everything from art, sculptures, books, music and cards to jewelry, handbags, totes and your standard bric - a - brac. The items in the gift shop are high end. It’s not like those souvenir shops you see all over the touristy areas and the price point reflects that fact.

The Asian Art Museum is one in which I frequent. Since my trips to Hong Kong I find myself homesick for my adopted foreign land so being able to get a taste of Asia while at home here in San Francisco is a real treat.

Thank you to the Asian Art Museum for allowing photos to be taken of their art collections.

For more information visit the website at:


RNSANE said…
I love Asian art, as well. One of the most incredible experiences of my life was to visit the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan which houses over 600,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artwork and artifacts. Someday, I'd like to visit the Palace Museum in the People's Republic as both museums share the same beginnings. The Taipei museum was the result of Chiang Kai-Shek hurried efforts to prevent the invading Japanese army from taking its valuable pieces!

San Francisco is very fortunate to have its own wonderful museum of Asian Art, of many countries. As for the gift shop, I dare not enter!!!
betchai said…
i am drawn to calligraphy too, it's such a powerful piece and speaks volume to me. oh, and i am drawn to buddhas too, whenever i visit buddhist temples here.
AVCr8teur said…
I have not been to the Asian Art Museum since its move out of GGP. I should go there to take a look.
Icy BC said…
Those are beautiful pieces of Buddhas, and calligraphy is fascinating to me. Like you, I wish I could understand!
Jane Doe said…
I love Asian art too. Those Buddhas are gorgeous. Your photographs are always so lovely.
I am VERY surprised they allowed you photos! My goodness! A camera in a museum? I've never heard of such a thing! Are you suuuure you didn't sneak in your camera phone??? just kidding! :)

I wanted to let you know...I appreciate your comments on my writing...for they are very constructive, thoughtful, and full of sense and virtue...I really like that in a comment...a comment that can make me reflect over it...

so thank you. :)
Carmen, we are very fortunate to have these museums here in SF.

betchai, same here. I love Buddhas and calligraphy.

AVC, you really should. Though I'm not thrilled over the area, the museum is beautiful.

Icy, I know. When I was in Hong Kong I wished they had the calligraphy shown in English as well but I stilled loved it.

Jane, Thanks so much for your kind words.

Charity, You are welcome. I really enjoy your writing. As for the camera :) I always ask if I can take photos as I learned my lesson at another museum months ago. The key is acting like a tourist :)

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