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Special Exhibitions

Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea
On view

On a background of sleek lacquer, mother-of-pearl illuminates intricate flowers, swirling leaves and birds poised to fly. Immerse yourself in a luminous world with 30 traditional and contemporary works of Korean mother-of-pearl lacquerware. This is the first U.S. exhibition devoted to this time-honored tradition. Catch the final days of our three spring shows—ending May 8.

Programs and Events

Family Fun Day
May 1 and 15, 10:30 AM–2:30 PM
FREE with museum admission

Where do we come from? How does place inform who we are? In April and May, explore how artists perceive the world through maps and make your own artwork inspired by China at the Center: Rare Ricci and Verbiest Maps. All Family Fun Day activities are developed and led by the Art Speak high school interns.

Tasting Menu: LUCKYRICE
Sun, May 22
2–4 PM

Danielle Chang, founder of LUCKRICE, will give the inside scoop on what it takes to pull together the industry’s top chefs and what Asian food has come to represent in the U.S. Share on Facebook.

Artists Drawing Club: 5xPaik with Kota Ezawa
Thurs, Apr 7, 7–8:30 PM
$5 after 5 PM

Don't miss a performance/exhibition action that reimagines the work of Korean video art pioneer and Fluxus key figure Nam June Paik through interpretations of his work by Bay Area artists Kota Ezawa and special guests Minji Sohn, Anne McGuire, Cliff Hengst and Arash Fayez. Ezawa will recreate two of Paik’s video sculptures, and Sohn, McGuire, Hengst and Fayez will produce “cover versions” of Paik’s performance work. Share on Facebook.

For Members

Celebrating Moms
Sun, May 8

Mother's Day is just around the corner. This year, treat the special moms in your life to a day at the museum. Admire flowers, goddesses and mothers throughout history in our galleries, then relax with tea and treats in Cafe Asia. Members will receive a 10% discount in the cafe, as well as a surprise gift for moms (available for pick up at the member desk.)

An Asian Art Museum membership makes a wonderful Mother's Day gift. Gift membership can be purchased online, at the member desk or by calling us at 415.581.3740.

Museum Store

Mother-of-Pearl Inlay—Perfect for Moms

Show the mamas in your life you care with a unique gift from our museum store. In the alleys of the Khan al Khalili market of Egypt, craftsman with extraordinary talent and patience inlay the mother-of-pearl onto wood, creating beautiful boxes like these. Find the perfect box online, or stop by the museum. Admission to the cafe and store is always FREE.

Retail Price  $35
Members' Price $31.50

Special Offers

That Night's Wife (Sono Yo No Tsuma)
Fri, June 3, 3 PM
Castro Theatre

A desperate father commits a robbery to save his sick daughter in one of the few gangster pictures Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu made during his country’s extended silent era. "That Night’s Wife" starts out as a noirish crime film and evolves into a taut family drama, unfolding over the course of one night. Click here for more information.

Email enews@asianart.org by Wed, May 11 at 5 PM for a chance to win tickets! We'll randomly draw a name and notify the winner by Thursday. 


Asian Art Museum
Chong-Moon Lee Center
for Asian Art & Culture
200 Larkin Street
SF, CA  94102

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Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts is organized by the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in partnership with the Asian Art Museum. This exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services; an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Art and the Humanities. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of Anne and Timothy Kahn, and Judy Wilbur. Hidden Gold: Mining Its Meaning in Asian Art is organized by the Asian Art Museum. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of Bonhams and Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation. China at the Center: Rare Ricci and Verbiest World Maps is organized by the Asian Art Museum in partnership with the University of San Francisco. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of James Ford Bell Trust, Penelope L. Wong and S. Timothy Kochis, and Maura and Robert Morey. Free Target Sundays are made possible by Target. The Asian Art Museum’s education and public programs are generously supported by the Estate of Dorothy J. Bakewell, The Hearst Foundations, Inc., The Joseph & Mercedes McMicking Foundation, Dodge & Cox, and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation. Mother-of-Pearl Lacquerware from Korea is organized by the Asian Art Museum. Presentation is made possible with the generous support of the Koret Foundation and Korea Foundation. Collected Letters is organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. "Target First Free Sundays"--free general admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day--are made possible by Target. Major support for the Asian Art Museum's education programs is provided by the Estate of Dorothy J. Bakewell. Additional support is provided by Wells Fargo, The Charles D. and Frances K. Field Fund, Douglas A. Tilden, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, The Hearst Foundations, Inc., The Sato Foundation, The Joseph & Mercedes McMicking Foundation, Robert & Toni Bader Charitable Foundation, Dodge & Cox, and The Morrison & Foerster Foundation.

Pen box, with reed pen in penholder, from the gun set of Mahmud I, approx. 1732. Turkey, Ottoman period (1300–1922). Gilded silver, emeralds, rubies (or spinels), and reed tip. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Acquired by Henry Walters, 1903, 51.78 and 51.87. Photograph © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. Bodhisattvas descending from paradise (detail), approx. 1300. Japan. Ink, colors, and gold on silk. Asian Art Museum, The Avery Brundage Collection, B60D34+. Photograph © Asian Art Museum. A Complete Map of the World (detail), 1674, by Ferdinand Verbiest (Flemish, 1623–1688). China; Beijing. Eight-panel woodblock print; ink on paper. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., G3200 1674.V4. Table with phoenix, crane, and peach motif, 1800–1900. Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910). Lacquered wood with inlaid mother-of-pearl. Asian Art Museum, Museum purchase, 2016.39. Photograph © Asian Art Museum. Collected Letters, Photograph © Asian Art Museum.


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