Presented by the Asian Art Museum in partnership with the USF Ricci Institute


Exhibition: China at the Center: Rare Ricci and Verbiest World Maps


March 4, 2016 - May 8, 2016

Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


Tues—Sun • 10:00AM—5:00 PM

Closed Mondays. Check website for more information of the exhibit.


A major exhibition showcasing two rare and famous world maps produced in 17th century China by Jesuit missionaries. The first is Matteo Ricci’s 1602 Kunyu wanguo quantu (“Map of the Myriad Countries” or “Mappamondo”), a map so rare that it is called “The Impossible Black Tulip” (on loan from the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota). The second is the Kunyu quantu (“The Complete Map of the World”), Ferdinand Verbiest’s world map of 1674 (on loan from the Library of Congress). These are the first Chinese maps to show the Americas, the polar regions, and the western shores of Europe and Africa, and include explanations of natural and astronomical phenomena. This is the first time that both of these seminal maps have been displayed together. Also on display are rare books and atlases associated with these maps and the 16th-18th century Jesuit mission to China.



Rev. M. Antoni J. Ucerler, S.J., Director, USF Ricci Institute and Natasha Reichle, Associate Curator of Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco


Free Admission for USF students, faculty, and staff with USF ID. Special membership rate also available during the exhibit for USF students, faculty, and staff.


For more information, please contact the USF Ricci Institute at 415-422-6401 or by email.


Major funding for programs at the University of San Francisco are provided by the EDS-Stewart Endowment for the Study of Chinese-Western Cultural History, Asian Scholars’ Endowment, and Thomas J. Klitgaard Endowment at the USF Ricci Institute; Manresa Gallery of St. Ignatius Church, Thacher Gallery, and the Department of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco.



2130 Fulton Street, LM280

San Francisco, CA 94117-1080, U.S.A.

Tel: 415-422-6401     Fax: 415-422-2291


©2016 The USF Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History