The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is located in San Francisco, California, United States. It is one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world.
Until recently housed in a building in the Golden Gate Park, the Asian Art Museum re-opened on March 20, 2003 in the former San Francisco city library building opposite the Civic Center, renovated for the purpose under the direction of Italian architect Gae Aulenti. It holds over 15,000 artworks and artifacts from all the major Asian countries and traditions, some of them as much as 6000 years old. Major galleries are devoted to the art of India, China, western Asia (including Persia), South-east Asia, Korea and Japan.
The museum owes its origin to a donation to the city of San Francisco by Chicago millionaire Avery Brundage, who was a major collector of Asian art. The museum opened in 1966, as a wing of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park. Brundage continued to make donations to the museum, including the bequest of all his remaining personal art collection on his death in 1975. In total, he donated more than 7,700 Asian art objects to San Francisco, i.e. just over half the museum's current collection. In 1995, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Chong-Moon Lee made a $1515 million donation to launch the funding campaign for a new building for the museum.
The museum has become a focus for special and travelling exhibitions, including: the first major Chinese exhibition to travel outside China since the end of World War II (in 1975); an archaeological exhibition which attracted 800,000 visitors over an eight week period; an exhibition on Wisdom and Compassion opened by the Dalai Lama in 1991; and a display of the famous terra-cotta warriors of China’s ancient Xi’an.