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Museum Hours
Thurs: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
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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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Lesson

Epic Story Scrolls

In groups, students will discuss how artists communicate events and characters by observing and describing scenes in the scroll containing stories of Rama’s youth. Students will compare the context of this scroll’s use with those of scrolls illustrating other epics. Then they will create a biographical scroll from the perspective of a character in the Ramayana (The Life of Rama).

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

Background Information

Buddhist Manuscripts (Sutras) of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392)

The religious fervor and opulence of the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) can be seen in the intricately hand-copied sutras (the teachings of the Buddha) that date to this period. Korean monk-scribes were commissioned by royals, aristocrats, and individual high-ranking monks to write the sacred words of the Buddha by applying pigments of ground gold and silver to deep indigo–dyed mulberry paper. They began by pictorially narrating the sermons of the Buddha with key episodes within the sutra chapter on the frontispiece (first four sutra panels). The rest of the sutra comprised flowing calligraphy translating the Buddha’s teachings.

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

Background Information

Beliefs of Hinduism

Learn about the basic beliefs of Hinduism.

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

Artwork

Battle of Awazugahara, from The Tale of the Heike

This scene illustrates an episode from the chapter, “The End of the Life of Kiso Yoshinaka,” in The Tale of the Heike, a thirteenth-century recounting of the wars between two powerful clans, the Heike and the Genji (also called the Taira and the Minamoto). By the time this painting was made, important episodes from The Tale of the Heike such as this one were widely familiar and had become popular subjects for paintings.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Video

Ascending the Heron Tower Written in Cursive Script

Master Chinese calligrapher Cai Xingyi writes the poem Ascending the Heron Tower by Poet Wang Zhihuan (688-742) in cursive script. See more in the exhibition, Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy (on view at the Asian Art Museum from Oct. 5, 2012–Jan. 13, 2013).

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

Activity

Archaeology Inventory Project

To expose students to terminology used by archaeologists and to heighten awareness of the rich discoveries in Afghanistan. Students make visual observations, write clear, succinct descriptions, form hypothesis on the function of the artwork, and investigate the influences of different cultures on art found along the Silk Road in Afghanistan.

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

Video

Anju, from the Far World (after seven paintings by Fuyuko Matsui)

Mari L’Esperance reads a poem she wrote in response to seven paintings by Fuyuko Matsui in the exhibition Phantoms of Asia: Contemporary Awakens the Past (on view at the Asian Art Museum from May 18–September 2, 2012). This presentation was part of MATCHA. Co-presented by Litquake.

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