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

Asian Art Museum to Reopen October 3 with Free Days

New Visitor Guidelines Ensure Health and Safety. Exhibitions Centered on Mindfulness, Togetherness, and Healing Take On Renewed Meaning.

Download a PDF copy of this Press Release

The Asian Art Museum plans to reopen on Thursday, Oct. 1, with a special two-day members-only preview. The museum will then open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 3, with free admission for all through Oct. 12 (the museum will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). We invite everyone to explore thousands of masterpieces across two full floors of recently renovated collection galleries, enjoy timely and thought-provoking special exhibitions — including Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment; Jean Shin | Pause; and Chanel Miller: I am, I was, I will be — and relax in light-filled atriums.  

“The Asian Art Museum offers new worlds to explore and, with every visit, ensures we are a place of inspiration, insight, and, above all, community — whether you stop by on-site or online,” says Jay Xu, Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “These are the values that kept us going through temporary closure, through the pandemic, and into the future. These are the values that we all need right now. We can’t wait to welcome you back.”

The Asian Art Museum is following the City Health Department’s strict guidelines to ensure all visitors feel safe and comfortable in a clean environment and enjoy experiences that are fun and full of discovery.

Because the museum is operating at 25% visitor capacity, this means a visit to the museum will work differently than before:

  • A visit — even for the member preview — starts with timed ticketing: booking advance tickets online is strongly encouraged to minimize transactions and support physical distancing.
  • Face coverings are required to enter and must be worn at all times.
  • All visitors will receive a complimentary stylus upon entry to be used with touch screens in the galleries, as well as elevator buttons.
  • New directional signage reinforces physical distancing and suggests routes for exploring the galleries; elevators will have limited capacity.
  • We encourage visitors to download the Asian Art Museum app for self-guided multimedia tours and the redesigned Visitor Guide before their visit. Docent-led group tours will not be offered on-site until further notice.
  • Coat check is temporarily closed, so visitors should leave large bags, backpacks, and luggage at home.
  • Our cafe, Sunday at the Museum, is temporarily closed (a list of takeout spots in our neighborhood is here). Visitors may leave the building and re-enter by showing their tickets for that day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the museum.
  • Surfaces including but not limited to rails, door handles, call buttons, and seating will be sanitized at regular intervals throughout the day and each evening.
  • Credit card machines at the admissions desk and in the museum boutique will be sanitized between every purchase. Visitors can also use Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • During member preview days in October, members enjoy triple discounts in the boutique; all visitors receive 10% discounts during free days.
  • We understand that not everyone will feel comfortable visiting the museum at this time, so we will continue to provide a robust range of virtual offerings, including public programs, virtual tours, and much more. Check our #MuseumFromHome webpage for opportunities to engage with curators, artists, and local makers. A special Virtual Member Lounge offers priority access to exciting content and in-depth programs for everyone who joins our global family of Asian art lovers.
  • Our friendly staff has been training for reopening since shelter in place began and will be happy to answer any questions during a visit.

The museum will also be operating with convenient new hours to accommodate our stringent cleaning protocols:

Thursdays: 1p.m.–8 p.m.

Fridays–Mondays: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Closed

FREE admission: Essential workers, SFUSD students, children 12 and under, active duty military.

General Admission: $15; Seniors (65+) and Students (13–17): $10. There will be no special exhibition surcharges.

Please check the museum website (under the “Visit” tab) for information about upcoming free admission days and for updated parking, transportation, and entrance information.

Special Exhibitions Offer Antidote to Today’s Anxieties

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the up-close art encounters you’ve been missing during quarantine will be ready,” continues Xu. “Two full floors of refurbished collections galleries reimagine our masterpieces from across Asia, giving longtime members a chance to see an ‘old friend’ in a fresh light or first-time visitors a chance to encounter a new favorite. Our current program of temporary art exhibitions and special installations speak to this moment’s universal need for mindfulness, togetherness, and healing.”

Special exhibitions open Oct. 1 include:

Meditate on more than 100 vibrant Himalayan Buddhist paintings, sculptures, and textiles designed to bring about enlightenment, or awakening. The exhibition gently guides you from the turmoil of daily life to a peaceful state of self-knowledge.

Using discarded cell phones and computer cables as the material and rough-hewn rocks from Chinese art as the form, New York-based artist Jean Shin’s site-specific installation asks how technological innovation contributes to social alienation — best experienced when you unplug from your phone. 

The inaugural work in the new Wilbur Gallery is also the museum debut for artist and critically acclaimed author of “Know My Name,” Chanel Miller, who powerfully represents healing as a three-part process: reflecting on the past, being mindful in the present, and envisioning the future. Miller’s work can be viewed through the gallery’s windows facing Hyde Street (the gallery is not currently accessible to the public).

Trace the pathways of 12th-century stone reliefs and 15th-century ceramics, from Vietnam to the ocean floor to San Francisco, and confront the ambiguities inherent in every museum collection by asking “Who owns art?” and “Whose voices count?”

Experience groundbreaking ink paintings by a renowned 20th-century Chinese artist influenced by the natural and social landscapes of 1970s California — including an image of Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome rendered in traditional techniques, a recent gift to the museum.



Press Release Types: Museum News