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Asian Art Museum (SF)

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Asian Art Museum (SF)

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Date Posted:August 7th, 2005
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Description: From Wikipedia: The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is located in San Francisco, California, United States. It has one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world.

Until recently housed at the de Young in Golden Gate Park, the Asian Art Museum re-opened on March 20, 2003 in the former San Francisco city library building opposite the San Francisco Civic Center, renovated for the purpose under the direction of Italian architect Gae Aulenti of Musée d'Orsay fame. The collection has over 15,000 works of art and artifacts from all major Asian countries and traditions, some of which are as much as 6,000 years old. Major galleries are devoted to the arts of India, China, western Asia (including Persia), South-East Asia, Korea and Japan. There are 2,500 works on display in the permanent collection.

The museum owes its origin to a donation to the city of San Francisco by Chicago millionaire Avery Brundage, who was a major collector of Asian art. The Society for Asian Art, incorporated in 1958, was the group that formed specifically to gain Avery Brundage's collection. The museum opened in 1966 as a wing of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park. Brundage continued to make donations to the museum, including the bequest of all his remaining personal art collection on his death in 1975. In total, he donated more than 7,700 Asian art objects to San Francisco, i.e. just over half the museum's current collection. In 1995, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Chong-Moon Lee made a $15 million donation to launch the funding campaign for a new building for the museum.

The museum has become a focus for special and travelling exhibitions, including: the first major Chinese exhibition to travel outside China since the end of World War II (in 1975); an archaeological exhibition which attracted 800,000 visitors over an eight week period; an exhibition on Wisdom and Compassion opened by the Dalai Lama in 1991; and a display of the famous terra-cotta warriors of China's ancient Xi'an.


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