For the Buddhist Art Collector: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
In a New Light: The Asian Art Museum Collection • Continues indefinitely

More than 2500 extraordinary works from the museum’s collection are displayed in the museum’s permanent galleries. Artworks on view include monumental South Asian stone sculptures, luminous Chinese jades, vibrant Korean paintings, mystical Tibetan thangkas, serene Cambodian Buddhas, richly decorated Islamic manuscripts, and subtle Japanese ceramics.


The Elegant Gathering: Art, Politics and Collecting in China Symposium
Part II: June 27-September 17, 2006

“Yaji,” or ‘elegant gathering,’ refers to a tradition among members of China’s intellectual elite who would informally gather to “debate with art rather than words.” The Elegant Gathering features 80 superb masterworks of Chinese calligraphy and painting carefully drawn together by generations of the fascinating Yeh family—scholars, statesmen, and passionate practitioners of the yaji tradition.

The paintings and calligraphy on view—some dating as far back as the 7th century—were generously presented to the museum in 2003 by brother and sister Max Yeh and Yeh Tung, the heirs of a fascinating family that collected the artworks over three generations beginning in the mid-1800s. You will see masterworks by Mi Fu (1051–1107), Fu Shan (1605–1690), Zhang Daqian (1899–1983), and others, as well as artworks by members of the Yeh family and their contemporaries. Because the works are light sensitive and can only be displayed for brief periods, a first grouping of 40 artworks will be replaced by a second on June 27.


Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art
October 7–December 31, 2006

Symbolism abounds in the decorative arts of China, rendering clothing, personal adornment, and household objects rich with meaning. A gourd-shaped vase decorated with bats is more than just ornamental: it is a promising omen, as the gourd symbolizes fertility by virtue of its numerous seeds, and the imagery of bats implies the sentiment "blessings vast as the sky." By surrounding themselves with such symbols, many Chinese believed that wishes would be fulfilled. This exhibition unlocks the mysteries of these "hidden meanings” and offers a glimpse into the time-honored importance of auspicious symbolism in Chinese culture. Imperial porcelains and jades from the museum's acclaimed Avery Brundage Collection illustrate pictorial motifs that represent wishes for fertility, a harmonious marriage, wealth and prosperity, long life, and more.

Tours Talks & Lectures

Tanjore Painting of India
Thursdays through Sundays
August 3–27
12:00 noon – 4:00 pm
North Court
Radhika Srinivasan adds a contemporary dimension to traditional Tanjore relief painting of India using gold leaf and inlay of semiprecious stones. Srinivasan's work explores the principles, methodology, and artistry of this sacred art form, which has been practiced for more than a thousand years.

Radhika Srinivasan, an established Indian artist, writer, and teacher, has lived in Singapore for the past twenty years. She has scripted and directed classical dance-dramas, performed on the sitar, and taught the history of Asian art as a guest lecturer at Singapore’s LaSalle College of the Arts. Author of several books on Asian art and culture, Srinivasan has curated art exhibitions for Singapore’s National Museum and has served as an advisor for the Singapore Arts Council. In 2001 she returned to Chennai, India, to launch her book Sacred Space: A Journey through the Spirit of Asian Art.

SAA Arts of Asia Lecture Series Fall 2006: Arts of Korea and Early Japan
Fridays 10am - 12pm

Kanbar Hall

This lecture series will serve as an introduction to Korean and early Japanese art. Beginning with the arts of Korea, the first eight lectures will cover the Neolithic period dating to 5000 BCE; the arts of the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE–668 CE); Buddhism; its effects in Korean society as illustrated in Buddhist sculptures, paintings, and ceramics of the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392); Buddhist and secular paintings and ceramics of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910); and finally the vibrant contemporary Korean paintings and ceramics.

August 25 through December 15 (no lectures November 17 and 24)

Fee: Entire series of 15 lectures: $125 members; $160 general public; $50 active docent Drop-in fee: $5 docent drop-in; $15 general drop-in per lecture

Images © Asian Art Museum • San Francisco, CA

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