I recently returned from a site visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) where we have some loans from our collection that we have been checking each year. I feel a strong connection to SAMA because it was the first loan I coordinated when I first began working at the Asian in 1991.
The Asian has had loans from our permanent collection on view at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) since February 1992. At that time SAMA, which opened their doors in 1981 in the remodeled historic Lone Star Brewery complex, had a collection of Asian Art which they supplemented by borrowing additional pieces for display.
In May 2005 SAMA opened the new Lenora and Walter F. Brown Asian Art Wing, a 15,000 square foot suite of galleries. Over the years, SAMA has continued to build their Asian art collection which has have grown to include more than 1,500 works from China, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. The collection spans nearly 6,000 years of history.
Most of the loans from the Asian Art Museum were returned to San Francisco for the opening of the new Asian in 2003, but there are still five sculptures left on display in the SAMA permanent galleries. One of the sculptures is Chinese and the rest are South Asian and Southeast Asian.
We recently revised the inspection trip to occur biennially. I enjoy visiting my colleagues at SAM and it is always interesting to see how the museum has evolved over the years. This trip I was particularly pleased to discover the famous Riverwalk has been extended all the way to the museum.
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