The de Young Museum features among its collections: Art in America to the 20th Century, 20th Century through to post WWII artists with a few well known international contemporary artists. Art od the Americas, Art of Africa, Art of Oceania and one of my favorite Native American Art.
It isn't a huge gallery and very nicely done to show off it's current collections.
Location: Golden Gate Park, John F Kennedy Drive and Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
Information: www.famsf.org or 415-750-3600
The de Young museum in Golden Gate Park is a great way to spend an afternoon or even a day depending on the exhibits on display. The Herzog & de Meuron designed building is striking yet eco friendly.
The gallary literature claims that more than 25,000 works of art are on display. Just walking to the building and viewing some of the sculptures helps you understand just how much is contained in a rather small (by some standards) museum space.
The Observation Floor at the top of the de Young's tower provides, on a clear day, some wonderful views of San Francisco.
Audio Tours are available from the tour rental kiosks near the main entrance.
Adults 18-64 - $10 Youth 13-17 - $6 Seniors 65+ - $7 Children free
General Admission discount $2.00 if you present a MUNI fast pass or transfer ticket.
General Admission also includes same-day admission to the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park.
Tuesday - Sunday 9:30 AM - 5:15 PM
Friday evenings until 8:45 PM (Mid Jan - Mid Nov)
The Cafe provides sandwiches, salads, soups, drinks throughout the day until 4:30. The food is surprisingly good for a "museum cafe."
Still photography is allowed for most exhibits. Some special exhibits forbid photos. No video, tripods or flash photography allowed.
A very nice variety of exhibits from all over the world and from different periods of history. Besides all the art there is an observation tower which gives a fantastic vantage point for seing most of San Francisco.
Adults $10, Seniors 65 and over $7, Youths 13-17 $6, Children 12 and under FREE.
Admission tickets to the de Young include same-day general admission to the Legion of Honor.
Muni riders with Fast Pass, transfer, or CultureBus ticket receive a $2 discount.
Operating for over 100 years, the de Young Museum focuses on American art from the 17th century to today as well as art from the Americas, Africa, and Pacific Rim. The museum underwent a complete makeover (more like reconstructive surgery) when it built a state-of-the-art facility that blends architecture with the natural surroundings of its location in Golden Gate Park. The result is an innovative architectural style both of the building and the surrounding landscaping. Those who remember the old museum will be happy to hear that part of the renovation was the construction of an underground parking garage which significantly relieves the parking woes in the area.
The museum has a cool observation deck which provides great views over the trees of the park toward the surrounding neighborhoods of Sunset to the south and the Richmond and Presidio to the north. While there is an entrance fee to view the collections, there is no fee to take the elevator up to the observation deck. Admission on the first Tuesday of each month is free.
Located right in the Golden Gate Park, this museum is free on the 1st Tuesday of every month.
PRICE: Pay $10 on all other days.
HOURS: 9.30am - 5.15pm. The tower shuts down at 4.30pm though.
DAYS: Closed on Monday.
LOCATION: Golden Gate Park.
If you are like me and want to take advantage of a Free Museums Day (1st Tuesday of a month), you can visit Legion of Honor museum first and then go to Deyoung by 1)taking a bus #2 at Clement/33rd, getting off at 33rd/Balboa; 2) then taking bus #31 to 8th/Balboa and 3) walking 2 blocks down South to the museum.
NOTE: On Friday nights museum stays open until 8.45pm and hosts movies, shows, live music, poetry and dance performances. For more details (like calendars and timetables of these events), click here.
In 1998, Propositiion A, a city bond initiative was narrowly defeated, marking the second time that San Francisco voters declined the opportunity to rebuild and restore the earthquake damaged DeYoung, the city's oldest and largest fine art museum that is located within Golden Gate Park. Shortly thereafter though, fundraising for private restoration began and raised some $190 million to demolish the old DeYoung, which was an extremely popular classical revival style building with an ecclectic collection of art. The new designs were not well received at first, and there were lawsuits and local opposition to the design that many regarded as ugly. An economic downturn after 2000 threatened many museums in the city, but the DeYoung reconstruction continued. In Fall 2005, the New DeYoung opened. The new facility is much larger than the older one, and a new parking garage under the undisturbed music concourse provides much easier access than was ever possible before. The DeYoung's collections of Oceanic and New Guinea tribal art are among the world's best. The African Art collection is also large and excellent. In addition, the DeYoung has a fine collection of North American Indigenous Artifacts, including some excellent examples of the exceedingly rare California Native basketry (See New DeYoung Part II tip). It comes as no surprise to many that the DeYoung would have an excellent collection of large scale landscapes from the Carmel Art Colony and late 19th century Naturalism periods. But, the DeYoung also guest exhibits of Modern Art collections, such as the Ruth Asawa art shown in the images for the DeYoung III tip. In the new venue these treasures are displayed in a better light, and supported by larger space, museum store, and cafe. Admission tickets to the de Young may be used on the same day for free entrance to the Legion of Honor. Muni riders with Fast Pass or transfer receive a $2 discount.
San Francisco's De Young Museum~ Artists are honored for their exceptional exhibits. Respectfully, their talents are showcased so the viewer may appreciate the exquisite artwork on display stemming from oil paints on canvas to the rare Aztec stonework and lapidary arts. Three dimensional creations come to life utilizing a venue of multi-faceted materials that produce stunning sculptures. Archaeological artifacts reveal lost cultural ways of life and earth's precious resources are intertwined, woven together and displayed in virtual suspension. Delicate blown glass seemingly defies gravity and takes on shapes proving a kaleidoscope of vibrant colorful and intricate details can emerge through the technique of layering. There are as many artforms utilizing earth's elements in ways that can only be interpreted by the explicit impressions of the Artist.
One extraordinary structure plays with the illusion of a refugee 'Cathedral' fashioned solely out of parts from the era of wartime. Symbolically, the Artist uses guns, bullets, shot, steel, glass, tooth, bone and 15th century fabric. Respectfully titled, 'The Spine and Tooth of Santa Guerro' and when viewed from afar, this fascinating architectural structure appears to suggest a place of 'refuge' for wartime victims brutally wounded and yet, when one draws near, irony dictates 'Truths'.
Displayed in the background is Cornelia Parker's 'Anti-Mass' which is charred wood remains shaped then suspended in still life using wire. The wood was taken from an African American Baptist Church in Alabama destroyed by arson and is said to depict both science and religion united symbolically in a monument to the postive power of creativity and belief to triumph over the negative forces of destruction and intolerance. Truth, is in the eye of the beholder, experience is in the hearts and minds of those who lived it.
What I really loved here that we had a lot of space to enjoy the exhibits, there weren’t many visitors inside and this is the only way to appreciate a good painting or take a close look to a sculpture. There are countless items to see but don’t miss the strange architecture of the building itself. What we enjoyed more was the Native American sculptures and some of the contemporary art but we didn’t really get excited. The exhibits are well presented and this adds a lot to a museum visit.
There are temporary exhibitions from time to time, Tutanhamun exhibit was on display during our visit but we’ve been to Cairo so we skipped that and the extra 20 dollars they asked for! And from what I know his famous mask and sarcophagus weren’t there.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 09.30-17.00 (till 20.30 on Fridays). The entrance fee from the permanent collection is $10 (including a visit to Legion of Honor) or free with the CityPass (the pass saved us a lot of money). The giftstore is (as usual) overpriced.
this is not only a magnificent piece of architecture and landscape, it has world class art to boot. just walking around this massive space, you will see the art within the architecture itself...cracks in the ground that align themselves with cracked rocks that lay staggered in the enclosed courtyard....it's a must do if you come to s.f.
the museum is kid-friendly, has a store and a cafeteria with floor to ceiling enclosed indoor seating, and outdoor seating among a sculpture garden.
I went there for the grand re-opening in October 2005 and absolutely loved it. It's a bit like a maze inside until you get used to it but it's really well done. The art is unique, contemporary and eclectic yet traditional and exotic. Something for everyone. The Koret theater within the museum is a great little venue. I attended a poetry reading and an Egyptian dance performance there on two separate occasions. I really enjoy it very much and have gone several times since the re-opening. Can never get enough of that museum. BTW great gift shop as well. One thing I have not yet done however, because it's always been too crowded is go up in the tower. Hope to do that soon.
Located in the "Music Concourse" region of Golden Gate Park, the Museum was recently opened after being completely rebuilt. The new museum is receiving rave reviews. It houses a variety of works of art, as well as traveling exhibits. Originally built in 1894 as part of the 1894 California Mid Winter Exposition, the museum is surrounded by landscaping features and structures dating back to that era. A new underground parking garage was recently opened nearby in association with the museum construction.
Local Historical Note:
The original museum sustained damage during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. For a while during the discussions concerning replacing the museum, moving the museum's location from the park to the San Francisco Waterfront was under serious consideration. The museum under its final form drew extensive opposition, mostly from the nearby neighborhoods and environmental groups, who felt its tall tower, as well as the underground parking structure are inappropriate for Golden Gate Park. Their objections were heard in court. After an initial victory by the opposition, the museum sponsors won and carried the day.
The deYoung Museum is a neat museum filled with a mix of art and cultural artifacts. My favorite was a section they had of these old photographs. I am not sure if the exhibit was a special exhibit or if it is their own collection. They had a ton of old sepia-toned photos from around the world that were just amazing. They also had some cool pics from around San Francisco. Some of the modern art was amazing and some fell pretty flat in my opinion. The people I was with really enjoyed the sections on Africa and Oceania. They had some amazing pieces in both sections...as well as some really great Latin American pieces. If you go to the deYoung, I definitely recommend going to the tower. It gives you some great views of San Francisco. On a clear day, you can see parts of the Golden Gate Bridge, USF, UCSF, and some other great views. I really enjoyed the tower. While I visited, I got the audio tour. If you really enjoy audio tours, then I would recommend it. Is it necessary to enjoy your time there?...not really. Did it enhance my visit?...yes, but it was not one of the better audio tours that I have had. It is really up to you whether or not you want to do it. I probably would not recommend it to most people and I usually enjoy audio tours. While it was informative about the pieces, I wasn't that impressed. If you visit on the first Tuesday of the month, then you can get in for free. But you still have to pay for the Audio Tour and their one special exhibit.
The DeYoung Museum has received many donations and has purchased some fine examples of Mayan art. Most recently, the DeYoung acquired an excellent stella. The main problem I find with such collections, as with most such displays in any museum, is that the Mayan artifacts are not described in terms of specific origin. Many artifacts are described as coming from "central Mayan region". This is likely because the artifacts were originally purchased by collectors from looters or from collections not carefully dusted off by archeologists. Nevertheless, the wonder of these ceramics and chiseled stones is timeless.
I've visited national museums in African countries that have smaller displays of tribal masks and art than can be found at the DeYoung Museum. I have a pretty good collection of West African art myself (see my Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali pages), and was actually able to learn more about my own collection. The display at the DeYoung is nicely lit and audio recordings are available to describe things in detail. But, the written explanations are also nicely done.
The Special Exhibits at the DeYoung Museum are not allowed to be photographed, so these images of the Ruth Asawa collection are seen from a deliberate distance. Ruth Asawa is a local favorite, having produced many cast bronze and steel sculptures around the
Bay Area since the 1970's. At this special exhibit, Asawa's biographical background at the legendary Black Mountain College is explored, and here lecture notes for her college classes on display. See the web link below for more details about this great artist. What seemed most remarkable to me were the woven steel thread basket hangings. They were elegantly displayed at the DeYoung. The museum has as part of its regular collection a finely displayed contemporary art collection, including the glass art for which California artists are now famous world-wide.