Thursday, July 03, 2008
Ming Dynasty at the Asian 2: Treasures
The permanent collection at the Asian Art Museum, built on the foundation of Avery Brundage's amassing of Asian treasures for decades and growing impressively with new donations all the time, is probably the best collection of art of any kind in the Bay Area.
With the move from Golden Gate Park to the reconfigured Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, the collection finally had a place to spread out on two large floors and be displayed in most of its splendor, with light-sensitive pieces rotating in and out of public view.
The ground floor of the three-story building consists of the entryway, a cafe, lots of wasted space in the atriums flanking a gift shop, and three galleries for touring exhibits.
The touring spaces consist of two square rooms, one tiny and one medium, with a long, rectangular space between them, and they must drive the curators insane.
The Ming Dynasty treasures themselves are amazing...
...with most of the 600-year-old pieces looking brand new...
...either because they have been recently excavated from royal tombs...
...or because they have been well-tended for centuries.
This Sunday, July 6th, is a free admission day and if you happen to be in San Francisco, I can't recommend the exhibit highly enough. And maybe the museum, with its new director, will consider revamping the touring spaces on the ground floor because this show and many others deserve better.