Tag Archives: Ganesha

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.


Welcome to the blog of the Asian Art Museum

dancing ganesha, asian art museum

Dancing Ganesha, 900-1000, sandstone. India, Madhya Pradesh state. Asian Art Museum, the Avery Brundage Collection, B66S8.

Below Ganesha’s right foot is the rodent that serves as his animal mount. Ganesha once battled a powerful demon who had been terrorizing the gods. Using one of his tusks, which had broken during the struggle, he speared the demon, who was then transformed into a rodent and brought under Ganesha’s control. Because it can find a way through the most daunting of barriers, the rodent is an appropriate vehicle for Ganesha, who has the power to create and remove obstacles. Some of Ganesha’s hand gestures in this sculpture, in addition to his swaying posture and his entourage of musicians, indicate that he is dancing.

Welcome to the blog of the Asian Art Museum – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture. It’s always good to begin with Ganesha, lord of auspicious beginnings. May he favor this blog.