Jan 14, 2013

Museums- Asian Art Musuem, San Francisco



San Francisco is densely populated city of northern California and is a leading financial and cultural center. It is one of the top tourist destinations of USA. Cool, cloudy city filled with glamour has much to offer for every tourist! During my stay here I visited most of the beaches, heritage buildings and museums.

Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. A posh building displaying ancient art from Asia. Museum has an entrance fee. On first Sunday of the month entry is free but, expect a big crowd. As you see in the picture, art and artifacts from Japan, Korea, china, Cambodia, more South East Asian countries and also India are displayed. And :) you might have guessed already ... it looked like a Buddhist Museum! Most of the artifacts were either related to Buddha or Hindu Mythology except for few.

I wasn't aware that Jadeite is so hard gemstone that it cannot be chiseled. It has to be shaped by abrasion only. It is a laborious process and needs a lot of patience. I was amazed by the intricacy of those delicate artifacts made of Jade. Japanese and Chinese galleries displayed beautiful paintings with nature depicted. I didn't understand anything about the script, may be the messages are as beautiful as those paintings. There was Indian gallery too with some of the stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. In the picture is four faced linga from Central India.


Interesting was to see Buddha in different moods. I had seen Buddha to be very peaceful. Some pictures where Buddha seen being angry, worried! Also Buddha being sheltered by seven hooded serpent something similar to Indian mythology that Lord Vishnu is always sheltered by Adishesha, the King of snakes. And in the below picture is Simhavaktra Dakini from China. She is ferocious and a sky walker! 

Most of the times there are floating exhibitions, so having a year-long membership will be helpful. One such floating exhibition was "Afghanistan- Hidden Treasures from National Museum, Kabul". The gold ornaments excavated from 5 tombs at Tallya Tepe were on display. It was interesting to read the story on how did the archeologists find this treasure and how did the ornaments look like on the remains of a namadic woman (of course a picture). Most of the jewelry was made of fine gold and in few of the artifacts there was inlaid turquoise. Really, too much of gold to wear ...

There were more artifacts like sundials from Afghanistan on display too. Most of the artifacts showed the signs of Indian and Greek influence. It was nice to witness what we had studied in our high school history classes ... Alexander the Great ... Kanishka, the great Emporer of Kushans who ruled his empire from Kashmir to Bactria ... Asoka the Great, the great Emperor of Mauryan dynasty ... etc ... who might have influenced the Indian and Greek art and culture ... Unforunately photography is not allowed in changing exhibitions :)

Well, museum has a cafeteria too. I had a Japanese puffed cake with American coffee while I had a funny-crappy conversation with my friend. Museums are always my favorites though I forget many things as soon as I get out! One good thing about the museums in USA is that they allow (no flash) photography for no additional charges.
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Click HERE to read more articles about Museums in USA.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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28 comments:

  1. An interesting museum. Especially the exhibition from Afghanistan. Assume the artifacts were taken out of the country prior to the war.

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    1. Hmm... it was a changing exhibition for a couple of months. They might have moved to some other city in USA or some other country.

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  2. they do allow photography on permanent collections but not the visiting ones. i like this museum too. we went to view the art (paintings) from the master painters from the philippines - absolutely no photography on those visiting collections, a pity really.

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    1. I know! But, exhibitors always chose not to allow :(

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  3. Great collection of stunning Buddhas & other icons.Happy Pongal & Sankranthi.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Ramakrishnan! Happy Sankranthi. I love both sweet and khara pongal :)

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  4. Was not aware about that fact about Jade. Indeed people then were so patient. Also, for the first time looking at images of Buddha angry. And yeah I agree, Musuems just leave you in a trance and can make you forget quite a thing or so about your life. Hope you enjoyed that cake :-)

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    1. Thanks Jenny! Cake was good. It was so pretty that I didn't want to eat it.

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  5. Interesting place.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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    1. Museums are always interesting huh? Thanks Niranjan :)

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  6. Great post as always, Kusum! Love your photos and the information you share with us!! Cake and coffee is always a great addition to any tour! Thanks for sharing with us today! Hope you have a great week ahead!!

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    1. Thanks Sylvia! You have a great weekend too :)

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  7. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  8. Great tour of the museum. The Buddha statues are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your visit. Have a happy week ahead.

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    1. Thank you Eileen! Have a great week :)

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  9. Interesting! I liked the Buddha statues!

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  10. The amount of time and effort that would have gone into making these statues is remarkable - makes me wonder if we could make them today.

    Nice pictures.


    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thats interesting thought- could we make them today? Well, may be we could with computerized sculpting machines :)

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  11. No visit could be considered completed without a visit to museum, Kusum:)

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    1. Yes! Bhatia Ji. Local museums help learn the history and culture of the place.

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