Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
In the Galleries

Meditators, in Vehicles, Getting Enlightened: Arhats in Himalayan Buddhist Painting

Apr 22, 2021 – Nov 14, 2021
Himalayan gallery

Did you know that we frequently change the works on view in our collection galleries? Right now, disciples of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni are spreading good karma in the Himalayan gallery.

In the Himalayan gallery this spring, you’ll find a fascinating set of paintings from Tibet that emit positive energy and good karma. They depict arhats, grizzled disciples of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni who have realized nirvana but not buddhahood. Especially popular in Eastern Tibet, paintings of these great meditators show them in the natural landscapes they favored historically.

Arhats are described as “foe destroyers,” meaning that they have conquered emotional conflict and delusions. They represent a return to the natural state of the mind, unpolluted by the negative impulses that plague ordinary beings. Arhat paintings like the ones on view were created to make merit, or confer karmic virtue, for anyone even seeing them, so be sure to visit soon.


Included with general admission. Reserve your timed tickets today


Image: The Buddhist elders Kanakavatsa, Vajriputra, Kanakabharadvaja, and Bhadra, 1800–1900. Tibet. One of seven images, colors on cotton. Asian Art Museum, The Avery Brundage Collection, B62D40. Photograph © Asian Art Museum. 


Location: Gallery 12