Strongly influenced by Pan-Asian fare, Café Asia provides a wide array of menu items, appealing to the diverse clientele who enjoy the Asian Art Museum. Our menu changes frequently, allowing us to capture the best organic and sustainable ingredients offered from our local purveyors. Come join us for lunch or take an afternoon break and enjoy tea service from our extensive hot tea menu—no museum admission required.
NEW DISCOVERIES FROM CHINA’S HAN DYNASTY
FEB 17 —
MAY 28, 2017
One of the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world, China’s Han dynasty achieved profound cultural and artistic influence, technological advancements and military might. Two thousand years later, discoveries of royal tombs allow us to glimpse these extraordinary accomplishments firsthand.
Emulating their grand palaces, Han royals built lavishly furnished tombs so that, in the afterlife, no need would go unmet. Daily utensils, kitchen vessels, royal symbols, weaponry and even toiletries were all accounted for. And the nobility spared no expense preserving the tools of earthly pleasures — food, music, wine, sex — in anticipation of an afterlife to surpass this world.
On view for the first time in the U.S., 160 rare selections from recent excavations — including a jade coffin, rare bronze bells, elaborate crafts and much more — share the extravagance, artistry and elegance of Han royal clans.
SAINTS AND KINGS
ARTS, CULTURE, AND LEGACY OF THE SIKHS
MAR 10 —
JUN 25, 2017
With nearly 27 million adherents worldwide, Sikhism is among the world’s largest religions, and also one of the youngest. A diverse selection of 30 paintings, prints and textiles celebrates the artistic and cultural legacy of the Sikhs and the community’s longstanding connection to California. Delve into the life and teachings of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak (1469–1539), a charismatic, influential teacher who defined the religion’s fundamental philosophies, which emphasize belief in one god, equality, social justice and community service.
This exhibition explores the artistic and cultural creativity that flourished under the patronage of India’s Sikh kingdoms, established in the 1800s by the dynamic warrior Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839), which was continued by later Sikh rulers. Portraits and treasured objects belonging to the Maharaja himself are included in the exhibition. In particular, the portraits reflect expressions of personal and cultural identity, as well as the artistic styles of the times and places in which they were made.
Saints and Kings also draws attention to the Sikhs’ special connection to California. Among the earliest Indian immigrants to North America, Sikhs arrived on the West Coast in the early 1900s and have been integral to communities here for over a century. Today, many occupy leading roles in technology and other business sectors. Through an illustrated timeline, the exhibition tells an important story that has shaped the Bay Area’s diverse