View Spark segment on the opening of the new Asian Art Museum building with Pop Zhao. Original air date: March 2003 as part of the episode “Opening Nights.” (Running Time: 8:15)
View Spark segment on the Shanghai exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. Original air date: February 2010 as part of a This Week in Northern California episode. (Running Time: 6:08)
Shanghai at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is the first large-scale exhibition to feature the cultural productions of the city of Shanghai. Using a wide range of visual artifacts, the exhibition traces the impact that globalization has had on molding the city’s dynamic, international character. Spark gets a guided tour of this unprecedented exhibit.
Shanghai runs from February 12 through September 5, 2010, and is the cornerstone of the Bay Area-wide yearlong celebration of San Francisco’s illustrious sister city. The celebration features concerts, performances, films, lectures, special events, programs, and exhibitions presented by local arts organizations in honor of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, to be held May 1 through October 31. The theme of the World Expo is Better City — Better Life, heralding Shanghai’s 21st-century status as a major economic and cultural center. It is expected to generate the largest number of visitors in the history of World Expos.
More about the Asian Art Museum
Originally housed in a wing of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, the Asian Art Museum has been in the works since 1959, when Asian art collector Avery Brundage donated 8,000 works of art to the city of San Francisco. Since then the museum has managed to raise enough money to move out of its temporary location in the de Young Museum to its new home, the renovated site of San Francisco’s old main public library. With architect Gae Aulenti overseeing the dramatic transformation of San Francisco’s former Main Library, the new structure features 40,000 square feet of gallery floor, enhanced with state-of-the-art interpretive displays and programs.
The Asian Art Museum is one of the largest museums in the Westernworld devoted exclusively to Asian art. Its holdings include nearly 15,000 treasures spanning 6,000 years of history and representing cultures throughout Asia. Nearly 2,500 objects are on display at any given time with many hundreds rotating throughout the year.