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Asian Art Museum raises $100m for expansion

asian art museum

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco has raised $100m for its ongoing transformation and expansion project. AAM has surpassed its initial goals for the capital campaign.

The money will support a major expansion, the enhancement of AAM’s public spaces, and the development of exhibitions and programmes.

AAM’s campaign chair and board co-chair, Akiko Yamazaki, also announced that she and her husband Jerry Yang are sponsoring a $1 million challenge grant.

Prior to October 31, gifts pledged will be matched two to one. Before the end of 2019, gifts will be matched one to one.

AAM’s public spaces will be enhanced as part of project

“Giving on this scale is a confirmation that the Asian Art Museum is a valued asset, worthy of continued investments,” said Yamazaki.

She said it’s “truly gratifying to see such overwhelming support”, and added: “We are so excited to be so close to the finish line in successfully delivering on the vision.”

In April 2020, AAM plans to unveil its new Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion, which will open with an immersive exhibition from Japanese digital collective teamLab.

At the same time, the new East West Bank Art Terrace will open with landmark contemporary installations.

Capital campaign to support major expansion

Asian Art Museum director and CEO, Dr Jay Xu, said: “The ongoing success of this campaign expresses the tremendous generosity of our stakeholders.

“It represents their deep esteem for the museum as well as their passion for everything we’re doing to enhance the visitor experience.

“From reimagining the presentation of our masterpieces with engaging, dynamic digital tools, to offering dedicated galleries for exciting contemporary art, to expanding our building so there are always special exhibitions on view — the ‘For All’ campaign leaves an outstanding legacy for an ever-growing community of art-lovers in San Francisco, the Bay Area and globally.”

As part of its transformation project AAM is expanding accessibility online, and on-site within every exhibition.

“We are so excited to be so close to the finish line”

Initiatives include lowering the height of text panels, adding tactile experiences and descriptive audio guides, regrading exterior wheelchair ramps, and much more.

The museum has been recognised for its work by the World Institute of Disability with the Disability Leadership for Access in the Arts Award.

Also in San Francisco, the de Young Museum is getting a major artificial intelligence (AI) exhibition, opening in 2020.

Images: Asian Art Museum

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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