December Hours: Open Thursdays–Mondays, 10 AM–5 PM. Late Thursday nights will resume in January.

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Thu–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 Geography of Korea

Korea is a mountainous peninsula surrounded by the sea on three sides. It shares its northern borders with China and Russia, and its closest southern neighbor is Japan, which lies across a narrow strait. Learn more.

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

Artwork

A woman disguised as a man holding a parrot, 618–906

A woman disguised as a man holding a parrot, 618–906. China; Shaanxi province. Glazed low-fired ceramic. The Avery Brundage Collection, B65P52.

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

Activity

Zoomorphic Calligraphy and Virtuous Qualities

Turkish calligraphers were skillful at transforming words and phrases into the shapes of animals. This was done by elongating, wrapping, and rotating letters to create the contour (outline) as well as details of the animal. Favorite animal shapes include the lion, peacock, and stork. Students will write a descriptive sentence about an animal that they believe has virtuous qualities. They will create a zoomorphic pen and ink drawing composed of this sentence.

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

Activity

Brushpainting (interactive)

Create your own brush-painted masterpiece.

GRADE LEVEL: Early Elementary School (K-3), Elementary School (4-5), Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College and Beyond

Video

Zen Calligraphy

Shodo Harada Roshi, the abbot of Sogenji, a 17th century monastery in Okayama in Japan and international teacher of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, demonstrates his large scale calligraphy works.

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

Background Information

What Are the Main Branches of Buddhism?

Over the centuries, two main branches of Buddhism emerged: a transmission that traveled to Southeast Asia, and a transmission that evolved in East Asia. A further offshoot of the northern transmission also developed. All three branches began in India, and developed further as they moved across Asia.

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

Video

The Magic Paintbrush

Leta Bushyhead, Asian Art Museum Storyteller, tells a Chinese folktale inspired by objects in the museum’s collection.

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

Video

The Forbidden City

In 1420, in an effort to consolidate his control over the throne, the emperor of the Ming Dynasty moved China’s capital to a site in the North, now known as Bejing. There, he built a vast complex of palaces and administrative buildings now covering 178 acres. Because access was restricted to the imperial family and to those who had business with them, it came to be known as the Forbidden City. Learn more in this short documentary.

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