There are plenty of art museums in America, and California has more than its fair share of these. But the de Young Museum, in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is truly a gem among them, and very much worthy of a visit by anyone, whether they are art connoisseurs or just casual visitors.
A museum has existed on the current-day site of the de Young since 1894, but the most recent iteration of the venerable museum is a sinuous, ultra-modern facility, clad in 950,000 pounds of copper, that opened in 2005. The copper has oxidized to a warm rust red, and you’ll have the immediate sensation that the museum itself is on exhibit, an immense modern sculpture set in a parkland landscape.
Once inside the museum, you’ll find one of the finest collections of American art in the country, as well as a strong textile arts collection and extensive art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Visiting exhibitions are a broad survey of the art world in general: recent exhibits range from the art of the ancient Olmec civilization to modern artists like Warhol and designer Yves Saint Laurent, as the de Young’s curators strive to bring a cross section of the art world to their visitors.
Check out their website before you go to see if there are any special events happening. Friday nights feature interdisciplinary art programs with music, poetry, dance and more. Artists in residence frequently offer lectures or the chance to see and discuss their works in progress.
De Young Museum address and hours
De Young Museum
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 to 5:15 p.m., and Fridays from 9:15 until 8:45 p.m. They are closed on Mondays. Admission is a reasonable $10, with senior and youth discounts available.
Photos by Art a Go Go (1) and Slightlynorth (2) on flickr
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