Loading... Please wait...

FLAX Canvas

Asian Art Museum Turns 50

Posted by

Currently on view at the Asian Art Museum, celebrating the museum’s 50th anniversary, is a trio of special exhibitions that provide a fascinating window into past traditions and views of the world.

Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts presents the personal stories of a writer, a painter, and a patron, who lived in Mughal India, Persia, and Turkey, respectively, within the time frame of the 16th to 18th century. Through 64 exquisite artworks, including illuminated manuscripts, beautiful carpets and jeweled writing instruments, you get a rare glimpse of these three influential individuals and their worlds.

China at the Center presents the Ricci and Verbiest maps, two large and extremely rare 400-year-old woodblock-printed maps of the world. A computer-based touchscreen is included in the exhibit to enhance interpretation of these marvelous works.

Hidden Gold: Mining It’s Meaning in Asian Art presents works from the museum’s collection that feature gold and it’s expression of longevity, beauty and power. Spanning 1500 years of history and diverse Asian cultures, 50 artworks are on view. There’s a Daoist ceremonial robe with cosmic symbols embroidered in gold threads on silk. There’s a 12-panel Japanese screen with images of pheasants and pine trees, done in ink on paper with gold leaf. I loved seeing both sides of a Tibetan thangka, with the intricately painted front side and the simple handprints of the artist on the reverse.

I am always amazed when I go to the Asian Art Museum—amazed and humbled—seeing works of antiquity of such striking physical presence and rich symbolism. Don’t miss these three amazing exhibitions, on view through May 8.


Pearls on a String:

AAM Pearls on a String Khamsa frontispiece EX2016.2.20_01

Illuminated frontispiece, from the Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi, 1597–1598, attributed to Husayn Naqqash (Indian). Opaque watercolors and ink on paper. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Acquired by Henry Walters, W.624.42a. Photograph © The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

China at the Center:

A Complete Map of the World, (detail) 1674, by Ferdinand Verbiest (Flemish, 1623–1688). China; Beijing. Ink on paper. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., G3200 1674.V4.

AAM Hidden Gold Bridal Robe 2005.65.a-b_01 -

Bridal robe, 2002, by Han Sang-soo (Korean, b. 1934). Silk embroidered with silk and gold thread. Courtesy of Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Acquisition made possible by David and Margo Buchanan, 2005.65.a-.b. © Han Sang-soo. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Feathers, Flowers and Frocks

Spring arrives at the de Young Museum every year in the form of a botanical homage to art. More than 125 of the Bay Area’s most innovative floral designers will present spectacular arrangements in response to pieces in the museum’s permanent collection as well as the architecture. The floral arrangements highlight works in American art to the 20th century, [...]

Read More »

Flax interviews Sam Lamott

You might recognize Sam Lamott from a painting by Ingrid Lockowandt (Ingrid was interviewed on this blog) “Father and Son,” that won the 2015 Marin Magazine Cover Contest. That’s Sam climbing the Marin hillside with his son. Or you might recognize his name, Lamott, as in the novelist and writer of the same name. However, after [...]

Read More »

Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present a rare opportunity to see the work of Pierre Bonnard at the Legion of Honor. Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia features more than 70 works on loan from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The exhibition spans the artist’s career, including his early Nabi masterpieces, intimate interior scenes, his landscapes, and his great decorative [...]

Read More »

Roman Vishniac Rediscovered

The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents Roman Vishniac Rediscovered, an exhibition from the archive of the International Center of Photography, New York. A remarkable and versatile photographer, Roman Vishniac is known for his documentation of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, a world on the eve of its annihilation. His sensitive portraits taken in refugee camps and basement dwellings are reminiscent [...]

Read More »

Typography: (with)out and about

Without Type: The Dynamism of Handmade Letters On view at San Francisco Center for the Book is Without Type: The Dynamism of Handmade Letters , an exhibit of handmade letterforms created in a broad variety of mediums and tools. All the work is original and unique, and from a wide range of cultures, through history. The work on view extends from the [...]

Read More »

Announcing our relocation this spring to...downtown Oakland!

It was a year ago that we announced we would be relocating our Market Street store after serving San Francisco for 38 years. When the news first broke, the outpouring of media attention and concern from our loyal and long time customers made it apparent that we have earned a special place in the hearts of the artists and [...]

Read More »

California Wildflowers

Wildflowers are starting to pop up everywhere with the recent rains—best of all in an exhibit at the Main Library: Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. Photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter have been documenting California wildflowers for the past 17 years, producing images that range from spectacular landscapes to intimate floral portraits. These intrepid photographers have hiked through [...]

Read More »

New Experiments in Art and Technology at the CJM

NEAT: New Experiments in Art and Technology, currently at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, includes digital and robotic sculptures; works in light, sound and video; but above all, works that present an openness to new ideas—works more inclined to ask a question than provide an answer. The artists represented are Jim Campbell, Paul De Marinis, Gabriel Dunne, Mary Franck, Alan Rath, Paolo [...]

Read More »

2015 Holiday Craft Fairs: December Edition

December offers something for everyone, at Bay Area artisan shows, fairs and open studios, when it comes to finding gifts and treats that are unique and hand-crafted. Some events are local, while others are worth the trip across the Bay. What a great way to support local small businesses and our community of artisans. Here are some options for [...]

Read More »


find out about new items and special offers

Design by custom Bigcommerce designerCart Designers - Experts in ecommerce webdesign.

View Cart Go To Checkout