As one of the world’s largest collections of Asian art, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco was founded through the generosity of Avery Brundage in an effort to promote Asian and American cultural understanding. The museum holds a massive collection of more than 17,000 pieces, which cover 6,000 years of history. A prime example is its gilt bronze Buddha, dating all the way to 338 A.D.—the oldest known dated Chinese Buddha in the world. In addition, the range of its rotating exhibitions is a great asset.
Past, present, and future exhibitions include a painting-based show of Lords of the Samurai, a sculpture collection of Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, and jewelry and stone-based exhibition Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century.
A lesser-known feature of this museum is its extensive and diverse Family Program line-up, which is free and includes yoga, storytelling, and writing workshops.
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Information
- Public Transportation: Very Good (steps from buses 5 and 19 at McAllister Street/Larkin Street; and a 4-minute walk from buses 6, 9, 21, 47, 49, 66, and 71, light rail lines F, J, K, L, M, N, and T, and BART trains at the Civic Center station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (The museum is open until 9 p.m. from February–September.)
- Admission: $12; seniors 65 and older (w/ID) $8; college students (w/ID) and youths (13–17) $7; members, children (12 and under), and SFUSD students (w/ID) are Free; Thursday evenings after 5 p.m. $5
- Free Days: The first Sunday of every month
- Basic Tour: There are two types of tours available daily, an introductory tour of the museum’s collection and tours that highlight specific areas of the collection or special exhibitions
- Audio Tours: Free
- Membership: Membership begins at the Active level ($75) and your contribution is fully tax-deductible. Membership benefits include two personalized cards, unlimited free admission for two adults, priority entry, exhibition previews, a 10% discount at the museum store, a subscription to Treasures (the Asian’s beautifully illustrated magazine), and reduced admission to lectures, films, and special events. A Senior Active membership is also available for $55. Additional packages are offered for Family & Friends ($100), as well as a Contributor membership ($150) that includes additional benefits, such as reciprocal membership at over 350 museums nationwide and invitations to exclusive Contributor receptions.