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Museum Hours
Thurs: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
Cafe Hours
Fri-Mon: 10 AM—4:30 PM
Thurs: 1—7:30 PM
Location
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Region

The Persian World & West Asia

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Video

Hajj Stories (Bay Area): Performing the Hajj

Inspired by the British Museum’s video Hajj Stories, staff at the Asian Art Museum asked Bay Area Muslims who have performed the hajj to share experiences of their journeys.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Video

Hajj Stories (Bay Area): Preparations for the Hajj

Inspired by the British Museum’s video Hajj Stories, staff at the Asian Art Museum asked Bay Area Muslims who have performed the hajj to share experiences of their journeys.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)

Video

Installing a Colossal Statue of a Man

Sneak a peek behind the scenes of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as staff and Ship Art employees install a colossal statue of a man in the museum for the Roads of Arabia exhibition.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Video

Italian Red Velvet and Other European Luxuries in 17th Century Persia

If one had the money, one could acquire an ever-increasing quantity and variety of European goods and luxury wares in 17th-century Isfahan, including Italian velvet, London cloth and handbags, faux pearls and gold clocks. How were these European imports worn and displayed? What did they signify in the increasingly cosmopolitan city of Isfahan, a city referred to as “half the world” by its inhabitants? Dr. Amy Landau will delve into these questions about the social context of European luxury objects in 17 century Persia.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond

Video

Jeweled gun of Sultan Mahmud I

Along with the more traditional jeweled sword and scabbard, this impressive gun served as a ceremonial object, held by one of Sultan Mahmud I’s attendants during state ceremonies. While the flamboyant decoration of the gun lent itself to public spectacle, the experience of extracting its treasures from the gun’s stock is a more personal act. This video reveals the various components of this ornate gun. View this gun in the exhibition, Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons, and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts (on view at the Asian Art Museum from Feb. 26 to May 8, 2016).

GRADE LEVEL: High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Lesson

Gathering Goods for the Marketplace

Students will research objects from the Asian Art Museum’s collection and choose one that they think will earn the most money in the marketplace. Then, they will create a commercial to try to sell their object to the class using evidence as to why the object/idea was considered valuable at the time.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

The History of Islamic Calligraphy

The Arabic saying, “Purity of writing is purity of the soul” vividly describes the status of the master calligrapher in Islamic society. It was believed that only a person of spiritual devotion and clear thought could achieve the skill required for this supreme art.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Background Information

Islamic Calligraphy: Materials and Tools

In addition to giving artistic instruction on the art of writing, a teacher of Islamic calligraphy trained a student in how to prepare and use a multitude of materials and tools.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Activity

Create a Personal Murakkaalar

Students create a murakkaalar (calligraphy album) of their name and adjectives that describe their personality written in Arabic. They will make a calligraphy reed and learn to write with it. A kit’alar is a calligraphic work written on a rectangular piece of paper pasted onto a cardboard backing. Equal margins are left around the calligraphy in which the artist decorates with marbled paper (ebru) or illumination. A murrakkalar is a series of kit’alar attached together in an album that resembles an accordion.

GRADE LEVEL: High School (9-12)