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Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
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200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415.581.3500
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Background Information

An Introduction to the Qin Empire (221–206 BCE)

The Qin empire(221–206 BCE) of China lasted only fifteen years, but the rise of the state of Qin began several decades earlier, and Qin’s defeat of all the other rival states brought a definative conclusion to the Warring States period (475–221 BCE). Ying Zheng, the future First Emperor, ascended the throne of Qin in the year 247 BCE at age thirteen, and only a few years later launched a series of military campaigns against the neighboring states of Han, Zhou, Wei, Chu, Yan and Qi, defeating the last in 221 BCE, ‘as a silkworm devours a mulberry leaf ’ according to the Han historian Sima Qian.

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

Background Information

An Introduction to Islam

Islam is one of the world’s major religions. It shares with Judaism and Christianity a belief in a single god. The Arabic name for God is Allah. The word Islam means “surrender (to God).” The followers of Islam are called Muslims, which in Arabic means “one who surrenders to God.”

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

Background Information

An Introduction to Ancient China

We will refer to Ancient China as the time between the Neolithic period (ca. 6,000‒ ca. 1750 BCE) and the Han dynasty (206 BCE‒ 220 CE), which is roughly equivalent to the period of the Roman Empire in the West. This is the formative stage of Chinese civilization. During this time, what we now call China developed from a collection of isolated cultural communities to a set of organized states which eventually coalesced around the idea of a single unified state, and then expanded to include contact with other civilizations.

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

Lesson

Shadow Theater - Bringing Your Character to Life

Students use visual evidence to convey character by constructing a visual identity for their shadow puppet, and demonstrate principles of shadow-casting and puppet-making by performing their shadow play.

GRADE LEVEL: Early Elementary School (K-3), Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

History and Traditions of the Samurai

Students will use images of samurai armor and weaponry to learn related vocabulary. They will describe the functional and aesthetic aspects of armor through focused viewing and reading, and they will draw conclusions about the changing code of the samurai over the course of 800 years.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Artwork

Camel, approx. 690–750

Camel, approx. 690–750. China, Shaanxi or Henan province. Tang dynasty (618–906). Glazed earthenware. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S95.

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

Lesson

Brushpainting: Nature in Art School Program (selected resources)

This selection of resources introduces students to the vocabulary, techniques, and values of East Asian ink painting. Lessons and background information compliment the Brushpainting: Nature in Art school program at the Asian Art Museum.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)

Artwork

Archery Practice

Archery practice, by Shibayama Hirotoyo (1673–1723). Japan. Edo period (1615–1868). Hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk. The Avery Brundage Collecton, B65D2.

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