Opened in 1966 and containing more than 18,000 works of art (in just the permanent collection), San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is a must-visit. If you’re fortunate enough to live nearby in a Hayes Valley luxury condo, the museum has a frequently changing series of exhibitions and events, meaning you’ll want to visit again and again. Here’s what’s coming up this fall.
Exquisite Nature: 20 Masterpieces of Chinese Painting
The most influential painters from 14th-century to 18th-century China are celebrated in this impressive collection of works focused on nature. A variety of landscapes as well as paintings of country life and exquisitely detailed works that fall into the birds-and-flowers category of Chinese painting fill this exhibition with impressive examples of the importance of nature to Chinese artists. (Until 1 November)
Woven Luxuries: Indian, Persian, and Turkish Velvets
Marvel at rare textiles crafted centuries ago, including 17th-century carpets from India and Iran of incredible sizes and quality, at Woven Luxuries. Learn why countries such as Persia and Turkey became so renowned for their high-quality materials that their rugs and other textiles were often exchanged as diplomatic gifts. The only thing that will disappoint: the fact that you can’t take any of the treasures on display home to furnish your own condo. (Until 1 November)
Looking East: How Japan Inspired Monet, Van Gogh and Other Western Artists
Many artists are so influential in their own right, it’s easy to forget they were also inspired by their forebears. Looking East explores in fascinating detail how, when Japan re-opened to expanded international trade in the 1850s, a wave of prints and objects from the Land of the Rising Sun were sent to Europe and America, changing Western art forever. A total of 170 works are compared and contrasted in this extensive exhibition. (30 October 2015-7 February 2016)
Attend a talk
The Asian Art Museum is flush with talks and lectures. This fall, listen as Dr. Helen Burnham from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston speaks about the role of women as both subjects and artists during the West’s period of falling in love with Japanese art (30 October), or attend a discussion by Dr. Timon Screech from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies on the Japanese art of the “floating world” otherwise known as ukiyo-e. (7 November)
Bring the family
The Asian Art Museum is a fantastic place to take the kids and allow them to get their creative juices flowing. Children between three and six years of age can explore shapes, colors, and textures throughout the museum with special Animal Adventure Art Cards, and kids aged seven to ten can take part in special 30-minute museum tours for families on Saturdays.
Take some tea
Plan ahead by registering for a “Talk & Tea” following your tour of one of the museum’s impressive exhibitions. Join other museum guests in the Fisher Room, where you’ll be plied with tea and treats and invited to take part in a discussion of what you’ve just seen. There couldn’t be a more sophisticated way to debrief. (Various dates)
Partake in yoga
At the Asian Art Museum, yoga is considered yet another artistic endeavor that is welcome within its walls. Bring along a mat and some comfortable exercise clothes and get ready to explore movement and meditation with yogini Lorna Reed. (First Sunday of each month)
For more information on events or exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum, visit http://www.asianart.org/.