Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Teacher Packet

Ernie Kim

Born in Manteca, California, Ernie Kim (1918–1997) originally attended Los Angeles City College to become a dentist. However, when the United States entered World War II, he left his studies to serve as an Army parachute lieutenant. As part of his occupational therapy after the war, Kim took ceramics classes through the Veterans Administration and found a new path. Kim became a ceramics teacher, teaching in the Palo Alto Unified School District in 1952, serving as the head of the ceramics department at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1956, and then directing the Richmond Art Center from 1970 to 1980. As an artist, Kim was praised for creating “quietly beautiful” vessels featuring “subtle manipulation of surfaces.” Having endured extreme isolation during his incarceration as a prisoner of war, Kim immersed himself in community throughout his teaching career. After his death, the Richmond Art Center created the annual Ernie Kim Award in his honor.


Lesson Plan includes: