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

Fall 2023 On-Site School Tours

Our docents and storytellers are excited to welcome school groups back to the museum in person this fall. All school tours are free of charge.

On-Site Docent Tours

Grades 6 – 12

On-site docent tours are offered twice a day on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Tours are one hour and forty-five minutes. All tours include hands-on activities and social-emotional learning (SEL) content.

Tour Start Time Windows
9:30–11:15 AM
12–1:45 PM

Ancient China (Grade 6)
Fully Booked

See how writing developed, learn about 3,000-year-old bronze technologies, and draw conclusions about how beliefs and ideas spread throughout ancient China. Compare your discoveries to your own daily life.

Tour is limited to one class at a time.

Content Standards (California): History/Social Science: 6.6. Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of China.

Beliefs Made Visible: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in Art (Grades 6 – 7)
Fully Booked

Discover how artworks from across Asia reveal belief systems addressing universal concerns. Engage in hands-on activities incorporating close looking, movement, and drawing to learn about three major world religions.

Tour is limited to one class at a time.

Content Standards (California): History/Social Science: 6.5. Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of India. 7.2 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.

Brush Painting: Nature in Art (Grades 4 – 12)
Fully Booked

Look closely at traditional ink paintings from China, Japan, and Korea; learn about the tools and techniques used to create these paintings; and think about what these artworks have to say about our relationship with nature. Then take these ideas into the classroom for a hands-on ink-painting experience.

Tour is limited to one class at a time.

Visual Arts Content Standards for Nature in Art: 1. Enduring Understanding: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed; 2.1 Enduring Understanding: Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches; 7.1 Enduring Understanding: Individual aesthetic and empathetic awareness developed through engagement with art can lead to understanding and appreciation of self, others, the natural world, and constructed environments; 11.0 Enduring Understanding: People develop ideas and understandings of society, culture, and history through their interactions with and analysis of art.

Samurai: Real and Imagined (Grades 6 – 7)
Fully Booked

Learn about the values, customs, and traditions of the Japanese military elite of feudal Japan, as expressed in visual culture, such as arms and armor, painting, and calligraphy. Also explore the Way of Tea and Japanese Buddhism through related artworks.

Tour is limited to one class at a time.

7.5: Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Japan. 

Modern and Contemporary Art (Grades 7 – College)

How do modern and contemporary art respond to the past while connecting to ongoing issues today? Students will explore artworks by Asian and Asian American artists and discuss what their stories reveal about identity, power, and the importance of uplifting underrepresented voices.

This tour supports teachers in addressing the following CA State Standards:

  1. Outcomes and Essential Questions of the California State Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.
  2. CA State Standards for Visual Arts Enduring Understandings 7.1, 7.2
  3. CA State History-Social Science Framework Content Standards 10.4, 10.10, 11.8, 11.9, 11.11 and Appendix D: Teaching the Contemporary World 


Book an on-site school tour 

Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art (Grades 6+)

Summary: Students will be guided by Docents to look closely at South and Southeast Asian artworks depicting the ways dance can communicate one’s beliefs, relationships, and identities. They will also enjoy a related story told by one of our museum Storytellers and a culminating activity teaching gestures from classical Indian dance.

Content Standards (California):
Visual Arts: 7.1,7.2
Dance: Endurance Understanding 11
Social Science Framework 6.5


Book an on-site school tour 

On-Site Storytelling Tours

Beyond Bollywood storytelling tours are offered on Fridays at 10AM. Tours are one hour and fifteen minutes long; every class will receive an activity when the tour is confirmed.

Start Time Window
10:00 – 11:15

Due to high demand, other storytelling tour reservations are currently paused. Schedule an asynchronous virtual tour here.

Storytelling – Beyond Bollywood

Beyond Bollywood: Stories that Make You Move!
Grades 1–5
Summary: Students will enjoy three dance-related stories related to artworks in Beyond Bollywood and a movement activity teaching gestures from classical Indian dance.


Book an on-site storytelling tour 

Storytelling - General
Fully Booked

grades Pre-K – 1Specifically designed for our youngest audiences, we are offering stories with related hands-on art activities. The stART programs last an hour and a half.

Animal Tales
Grades 1 – 4
Listen to stories from across Asia about animals that spark the imaginations that bring art to life.

Heroes and Sheroes
Grades 3 – 6
Hear about courageous, noble, and self-sacrificing acts performed by ordinary people both young and old.

Grades 3 – 6
Enjoy stories from across Asia that tell how the use of wit and trickery gets folks out of trouble!

Stories from China
Grades 1 – 6
Become enchanted with authentic stories from ancient China or celebrate the New Year with stories from the zodiac.

Stories from Japan
Grades 1 – 6

Learn about the lessons samurai warriors can teach us or the tricks that mythical creatures can play in these stories from Japan.

Stories from Korea
Grades 1 – 6
Animals come alive in these Korean stories that focus on learning lessons, making judgments, or giving compassion to loved ones.

Stories from South and Southeast Asia
Grades 1 – 6
Delight in the wit of the Hindu deities and vivid characters as they overcome challenges, work together to solve problems, and learn life lessons. 

Key Ideas and Details: 2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson or moral; 3.2. Recount stories, including fables, folktales and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: 4.7. Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text; 4.9. Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics and patterns of events in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures. 

Please note that on-site tours are subject to change in response to evolving health and safety protocols.  

Organizers & Sponsors

The Asian Art Museum Storyteller Program is generously supported by the Kimball Foundation. 

The Asian Art Museum Docent Program is generously supported by the Dhanam Foundation and Society for Asian Art.