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The much-talked-about Gorgeous exhibit at the Asian Art Museum comes to a close on September 14. (Tear.) In other words, go right now. Check out our list of five gilded standouts that are not to be missed.

/images/articles/Jeff Koons

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Koons’s famous life-sized ceramic sculpture puts Michael Jackson and his pet chimpanzee on a permanent pedestal.

Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988. SFMOMA collection.

/images/articles/Hua Yan

Hanging Scrolls

This six-panel piece from the 18th century is actually a collection of meticulous ink etchings on gold-surfaced paper. And it definitely demands lingering attention.

Hua Yan, Summer Gatherings in Mountain Villas, 1738. Asian Art Museum collection.

/images/articles/Tobias Wong


McDonald’s immediately discontinued its white plastic coffee stirrers after learning they’d been put to use as cocaine-snorting spoons, but not before artists Tobias Wong and Ju$t Another Rich Kid elevated the cheap utensil to a gilded status.

Tobias Wong and Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Coke Spoon 02, 2005. SFMOMA collection.



This decorated Qur’an from 16th-century Persia is a mash-up of religion and art.

Qur’an, approximately 1550. Iran. Asian Art Museum collection.

/images/articles/Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Bead Curtain

The shimmering wall of faux-gold beads symbolizes passage, perhaps from the mortal earth to the afterlife. But in this case it just leads from one gallery to the next. Walk through the curtain and see what you feel.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Golden), 1995. SFMOMA collection.

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