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Location
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
Tickets
Shot of Early Southeast 600–1300 galleries.

In the Galleries

The museum’s collection galleries on the second and third floors feature more than 2,000 artworks from all the major cultures of Asia.

Artworks in the galleries are regularly rotated, offering visitors a chance to view more of the museum’s collection.
 
South Asia
Third Floor
Galleries 1–6

From portraits of Indian rulers to embodiments of the spiritual power of Hindu deities to a contemporary artist’s Museum Shop of Fetish Objects, the South Asian collection features artworks created over a period of 2,000 years in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Included are more than 1,900 sculptures, paintings, historical photographs and decorative art objects of silver, jade, ivory and other precious materials. The collection is especially rich in sacred sculpture from the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, where Buddhist ideas mingled with those of Greece and Rome, and the great medieval kingdoms of eastern and southern India.

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The Persian World and West Asia
Third Floor
Gallery 7

The 600 objects in this collection represent a wide geographic span — from Afghanistan to Turkey (and including Iran, Uzbekistan, and Iraq) — and date from approximately 2000 BCE to today. Artworks include a range of media such as ceramic vessels, tiles, metalwork, jades and calligraphies. The strength of the museum’s West Asian collection lies in ancient Persian ceramics and metalwork, as well as in Persian ceramics from the 11th through the 14th centuries.

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The Persian World and West Asia

Southeast Asia
Third Floor
Galleries 8–11

Images of Hindu and Buddhist gods in bronze and stone, paintings of heroic epics, and elaborately decorated luxury goods highlight the collection of arts from Southeast Asia (particularly Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam). Notable among the 2,000 works are Hindu and Buddhist sculpture of the great ancient kingdoms of Angkor and Java, rare ceramics from 14th-to-16th-century Vietnam and Thailand, an impressive array of theatrical arts including vivid puppets and shadow figures, and one of the country’s most important collections of 19th-century arts of Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand) and Bali.

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The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World
Third Floor
Gallery 12

The Himalayan department curates art from Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan and China. The objects in the collection include bronze and lacquer sculptures ranging in date from the 12th to the 20th century. More than 150 paintings from the same date range rotate twice per year. Our bronzes and paintings were mostly created by and for the practice of Vajrayana or esoteric Buddhism, but elements of Hinduism, Taoism and Bon are here as well. In addition, the collection features a full panoply of Buddhist ritual objects; several historically important manuscripts and manuscript covers round out the collection.

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The Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World

China, through 960 CE
Third Floor
Galleries 13–16

Comprising 7,000 works and spanning more than 6,000 years, the Chinese collection ranks among the best outside of China and is the foundation of the museum’s world-renowned Avery Brundage Collection. This remarkable collection presents a panorama of masterworks that embody a vast, complex and diverse range of styles, designs and craftsmanship, with strengths in ritual bronzes, jade carvings, Buddhist sculpture, lacquerwares and decorative ceramics. From Neolithic pieces to contemporary creations, more than 1,100 artworks on display illustrate the creativity and richness of Chinese culture, offering a window into China’s past and present.

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China, 960 CE–Present
Second Floor
Galleries 17–20 and Loggia

Comprising 7,000 works and spanning more than 6,000 years, the Chinese collection ranks among the best outside of China and is the foundation of the museum’s world-renowned Avery Brundage Collection. This remarkable collection presents a panorama of masterworks that embody a vast, complex and diverse range of styles, designs and craftsmanship, with strengths in ritual bronzes, jade carvings, Buddhist sculpture, lacquerwares and decorative ceramics. From Neolithic pieces to contemporary creations, more than 1,100 artworks on display illustrate the creativity and richness of Chinese culture, offering a window into China’s past and present.

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Korea
Second Floor
Galleries 21-23

The Asian Art Museum has been at the forefront in promoting and collecting Korean art and culture outside of Korea. The museum’s distinctive Korean art collection encompasses more than 800 objects. It is especially noted for its Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) celadons, as well as rare unglazed stonewares from the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE–668 CE) and Unified Silla period (668–935). The collection also includes a large group of paintings and bojagi (wrapping cloths), and it has the largest number of mother-of-pearl lacquerwares from the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) in the United States.

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Japan
Second Floor
Galleries 25–31

Japan is an archipelago, comprising four major and numerous smaller islands, lying in an arc across the Pacific coast of northeastern Asia. Japan’s closest neighbors are Korea and China, which both greatly inspired Japanese art and culture. For much of its history, the seas protected Japan from invasion and over time foreign ideas were incorporated into a unique cultural setting.

The Japanese collection is second in size only to Chinese among the museum’s collections. Its 5,500 Japanese artworks, including ceramics, baskets, paintings and prints, range from as early as 3000 BCE to the 21st century.

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Access to Collections Not on View
The Museum grants access to collections in art storage for research and study conforming to the standards of the scholarly disciplines it represents and to individual scholars and members of groups associated with these disciplines.