Archive for 'Sanjay Patel Exhibition'

Top 5 for Kids at the Museum

We’ve had a mild winter in San Francisco this year, but this week will bring a colder, wetter spell. Time to find some indoor activities. We asked our museum family for kids’ favorites at the Asian; come in out of the rain and check out our top 5:

1. A perennial favorite is the glass elevator that takes you from the first floor up to the galleries. Nathaniel, aged 3, insists on riding in it every time he comes to the museum.

Vaishravana (Bishamonten), Guardian King of the North

Vaishravana (Bishamonten), Guardian King of the North and kid-pleasing demon-stomper.

2. Bobby, aged 6, is fascinated by the sculpture of Vaishravana stepping on the demon. He and his Dad walked the galleries looking for more images of people stepping on other people, and they found a lot. We’d love to hear about any you can find.

3. Recently a mom approached one of our staff at a conference to share the story of her 7-year-old son’s love of our samurai armor. Not only does he like to visit the armor on view in the galleries, he’s also completed many of our make-at-home art projects. They’re great for a rainy day when you can’t make it in to the museum.

4. Our librarian’s son, Peter, is all grown-up now and an artist himself. His favorite piece has always been the Ganesha that greets you at the top of the escalators. Young Peter was struck by the offerings people left; these made Ganesha seem not only wonderful, but all the more real. His Dad writes:

“He was especially impressed with the offerings of Hershey kisses. “Why kisses?” he once asked me. I said, “Those must be Ganesha’s favorite.” Peter replied: “I think he’s got good taste.”

5. Ishaan, aged 2, is very taken with Sanjay Patel’s depictions of Maharajas. You can enjoy them on the banners outside, but if you come in there’s more kid-friendly fare in Patel’s exhibition on the second floor. Ishaan also recommends the video ‘How to Dress an Elephant’, which can be viewed in the Maharaja exhibition.

This weekend is our monthly Target Free Sunday, so there’s no better time to get your kids out of the rain and into the museum. Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts closes in a little over a month, so Sunday is a great opportunity to see this colorful exhibition for only $5 before it goes away.

Is your child a fan of the museum? Share your favorite pieces in the comments.


A Holiday Message from Director Jay Xu

We have much to be thankful for this past year. We began 2011 showcasing two superb exhibitions—Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens, followed by the critically acclaimed Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance.

Museum Director Jay Xu and Associate Head of Conservation Mark Fenn examine the Asian Art Museum's bronze rhinoceros.

Museum Director Jay Xu and Associate Head of Conservation Mark Fenn examine the Asian Art Museum's bronze rhinoceros.

In the fall we unveiled our new brand, promising to awaken the past and inspire the next for visitors. And we opened three wonderfully diverse exhibitions fulfilling that promise: Korean Buncheong Ceramics from the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Korea, Maharaja: The Splendor of India’s Royal Courts, and Deities, Demons, and Dudes with ‘Stashes: Indian Avatars by Sanjay Patel. These exhibitions show traditional and contemporary artworks side by side – literally in the case of Buncheong ceramics, and thematically with Sanjay’s show giving us a contemporary interpretation of themes also explored in Maharaja.

In addition to presenting compelling art, we offer interactive programs for the family, scholarly lectures and presentations, films, art activities, publications, and performances that you cannot find anywhere else in the Bay Area. We also provide unique educational programs to thousands of school children, and we continue to protect and conserve the artworks in our collection for future generations to discover.

Without the generosity of our donors and supporters, none of this would be possible. So, this season, consider making an end of year donation to the Asian Art Museum. Your gift makes a big difference to us. Along with knowing that your contribution allows thousands of others to enjoy the museum’s offerings, you can also enjoy the benefits of a tax deduction or match your gift with your employer’s matching gift program to increase your support.

I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and thank you for all your continued interest and support.

Warm regards,
Jay Xu,
Museum Director

Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those…

A journalist asked us today about the enamel eyes sported by our Vishnu and Lakshmi sculpture in Sanjay Patel’s Deities, Demons and Dudes with ‘Staches.

Enamel eyes for deity statues

One of our conservators with some ready-made enamel eyes.

This sculpture was originally intended to have eyes like these. There are carved depressions in the stone for them, as you can see from the picture below. We don’t know whether the sculpture never got its eyes, or lost them at some point.  Years ago we made a mold of the eye depressions, and I gave the mold to an artisan in India who makes such eyes. The artisan then created a pair for us from enameled metal, as is traditional.

Sculpture of Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Vishnu and Lakshmi in their former, eyeless state.

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Sanjay Patel in Conversation

Sanjay Patel’s show is almost ready – it opens this Friday, November 11. I peeked in today and it looks amazing. I can’t wait for the full experience!

We wanted to share this clip of Sanjay discussing India and identity with some of our Asian Art Museum Art Speak interns. His appearance in conversation with Maharaja curator Qamar Adamjee on November 12 promises to be an insightful and entertaining discussion.

Our YouTube channel has more of the students’ interview with Sanjay. The talk on Saturday, November 12 is free with museum admission.