Asian Art Museum in S.F. Celebrates Japanese Art in Conjunction With America’s Cup


The seasonal transition from spring to summer in San Francisco is evident in more than just the daily mood swings of Karl the Fog; it can be seen in the detailed art of centuries-old Japanese paintings as well. This year, the Asian Art Museum presents In the Moment: Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection, an art exhibit from the personal collection of Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO and owner of ORACLE TEAM USA, defender of the 34th America’s Cup.

More than 60 pieces of gorgeous artwork that span a thousand years will be on display, highlighting the process of art selection and display in traditional Japanese settings. In the Japanese culture, art is often produced to reflect the change of seasons or to celebrate a momentous occasion. Religious art, lacquer, and metalwork pieces by prestigious artists from the Momoyama (1573 – 1615) and Edo (1615 – 1868) periods will be front and center. Iconic six-panel folding screens crafted by Kano Sansetsu will be in the spotlight, as well as a wooden sculpture of 16th century bronze goose-shaped incense burner. These masterpieces, as well as 18th century paintings by highly acclaimed artists Maruyama Okyo and Ito Jakuchu, showcase how Japanese art often informs the ties we have with art and our environment.

Incense burner in the shape of a goose, Muromachi period (1392–1573), 1500s. Japan. Cast bronze. Courtesy of the Larry Ellison Collection.

“This exhibition offers a rare glimpse of an extraordinary collection,” said Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum. “We aim to present it in a fresh and original way that explores traditional Japanese principles governing the relationship of art to our surroundings and social relationships.”

Swallowtail-shaped helmet, Edo period (1615–1868),1600s–1700s. Japan. Iron, lacquer, papier-mache, and silk. Courtesy of the Larry Ellison Collection.

Back to the Cup. Perhaps one of the most highly prestigious (not to mention difficult) trophies to win, the American’s Cup trophy will be in display in the Asian Art Museum as part of the opening festivities of the exhibit (June 26 – 28). It’s not every day that attendees get to view the special exhibition of Japanese art from the collection of Larry Ellison, but for these three days, you can get a glimpse of this rarely seen art, plus this famous San Francisco icon. We wish this three-month exhibit nothing but smooth sailing!

Runs June 28 – September 22, Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays until 9 p.m. Free for members. General Admission: $12; Seniors, University Students, Youth: $8; 12 & under free. After 5:00 p.m. admission is only $5. Free every first Sunday of the month. 200 Larkin St. Purchase tickets here.

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