About Us

The Society for Asian Art, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in 1958 by a group of enlightened citizens dedicated to winning Avery Brundage's magnificent art collection for San Francisco. Since that time, we have been an independent support organization for the Asian Art Museum - Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture.

For over fifty years, we have offered a wide range of innovative, high-quality educational and cultural programs, along with social (and culinary) events where participants share their knowledge and enthusiasm. SAA's popular, Arts of Asia Lecture Series, open to all, is the core of the museum's docent-training curriculum. We sponsor foreign and domestic travel, visits to private art dealers and collections, in-depth study groups, special lectures by leading scholars, literature courses and symposia. Much of our programming supports specific exhibitions.

Society for Asian Art President’s Report 2015-2016


This has been an exceptionally busy year for SAA. Together, we organized nearly 100 programs in total – including lectures, workshops, study groups, literature classes, travel programs, and artist studio visits, as well as social and special events!

In addition to providing our members with educational programming, the Board completed a number of important internal projects, such as reorganizing archival materials, updating operating procedures, and upgrading our membership and registration software. Perhaps most exciting of all, however, was the recent unveiling of SAA’s new art commission, Collected Letters.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, more than 80 SAA members, Museum Foundation and Commission members, and Museum staff, arrived on a rainy morning to dedicate Collected Letters, which commemorates the Asian Art Museum's 50th anniversary. The Museum's Chief Philanthropy Officer Nancy Brennan and Assistant Contemporary Art Curator Karin Oen both thanked SAA on behalf of Director Jay Xu. They were then followed by the artist, Liu Jianhua, who spoke passionately about the project and provided the audience with deeper insights into the installation. Liu expressed his appreciation to the Society and the Museum for the opportunity to work on this project, and presented SAA with a large, porcelain letter “A” with a rich, gold-colored glaze symbolizing the Museum's golden anniversary. I accepted the artist’s generous gift on behalf of SAA and thanked Society Board members for unanimously voting to underwrite this project one year ago. The unveiling ceremony and reception was a resounding success and Collected Letters is even more breathtaking and impressive than imagined!

As I near the end of my term as President, I want to thank all SAA members for the privilege and pleasure of serving this great organization. The high-quality and innovative educational programs that we present for the Museum family each year affirms our organizations' shared commitment to the appreciation of Asian art and culture, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead SAA's Board of Directors and committee volunteers in achieving this goal.

I look forward to seeing you at many SAA programs for years to come and offer my best wishes to the next SAA administration for its continued success.

With gratitude,


Linda Shen Lei