Shopping with an Asian Twist

‘Tis the season for shopping. Growing up in San Francisco, my friends and I took it for granted that we could enjoy shopping for treasures in Chinatown and Japantown, along with regular trips to the Union Square department stores and specialty shops. Asian cultures have been an integral part of life in San Francisco for more than 160 years. Recognizing this, a wealthy Chicago businessman named Avery Brundage decided to donate his large collection of Asian art to San Francisco, if the City agreed to build special museum to house the collection.

On June 10, 1966, the Center for Asian Art and Culture opened in Golden Gate Park as a wing of the M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum. In 1973 it was renamed the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. The museum stayed open to the public at its Golden Gate Park facility until October 7, 2001, when it closed in preparation for the move to its new, expanded facility. The Asian Art Museum reopened at its current Civic Center location, in the redesigned 1917 beaux arts building that used to house the main library of San Francisco, on March 20, 2003.

How do you move a museum? In this unusual clip, you will see how to pack up a priceless statue and smash through a wall to send the statue to its new home.

Avery Brundage donated more than 7,700 Asian art objects to the City of San Francisco. Today, the museum’s collection stands at more than 17,000 objects, making it the largest museum in the United States devoted exclusively to the arts of Asia.
If you are putting your holiday gift list together, don’t forget that our museums have great gift shops. And buying a gift from the museum shop also supports the museum programs for children and families.

Best wishes,