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De Young Memorial Museum ( M.H. )
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415 863 3330 - Tty: -
Statement of Purpose
American art from colonial times to the 20th century. also textiles, ancient
art, and arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
The de Young Museum, the city's first public museum, opened on March 24,
1895 in commemoration of the California Midwinter International Exposition.
It was first known as the Memorial Museum. In 1921 the museum was renamed
the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in honor of the fair's organizer and founder.
The permanent collection at the de Young features one of the best survey
collections of American art in the country. Over 200 paintings present a
continuous spectrum of American art from colonial times through the mid-twentieth
Among the many artists represented are John Singer Sargent, Thomas Anshutz,
Mary Cassatt, Thomas Moran, Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Demuth,
Charles Sheeler, and Richard Diebenkorn.
The paintings collection is enhanced with sculpture by such artists as Herbert
Haseltine and William Wetmore Story, and the beauty of American craftsmanship
is represented with works by, among others, Paul Revere and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Highlights & Collections
The museum also features an African art collection which has been growing
steadily since the 1950s. The gallery is primarily devoted to figurative
sculpture and over 70 objects are on view, among them a power figure from
Zaire, a Makonde helmet mast from Mozambique, and from Nigeria an imposing
five-foot high male figure, and a playful Elephant Mask.
In the museum's gallery of the Art of the Americas are objects of the highest
calibre, many not to been seen in any other collection--from Mesoamerica,
Central and South America as well as the West Coast of North America. Among
the highlights of this collection are the largest group of Teotihuacan wall
murals anywhere in the world outside of Mexico, an important group of Olmec
stone and ceramic objects including a rare portrait mask in serpentine from
1500 B.C., and one of the world's five Aztec masks--particularly significant
as it is the only known example in onyx. Also on view at the de Young is
an important collection of textiles which includes a large selection of
ethnographic textiles from Central and South America, the Near East, and
Central Asia and Africa.
The ethnographic display includes selections from the Caroline and H. McCoy
Jones collection of tribal carpets. Also on view are changing displays of
costume and textiles from Europe and America.
Current and Upcoming Exhibitions
This update was issued 6/16/99. For a current schedule of exhibitions, you
may email@example.com 24-hour information Hot Line, (415) 863-3330 and its
web site at www.thinker.org.
Masterworks of Theater and Dance from the Permanent Collection: A Tribute
to Nancy Van Norman Baer
Through 5 September 1999
This tribute to Fine Arts Museums Theater and Dance Curator Nancy Van Norman
Baer (19441998) presents an overview of her career and highlights the
riches of the museums' Theater and Dance Collection. Objects on display from
the collection include posters, costume and stage set designs, prints, and
drawings. Also included in the exhibition are works pertaining to theater
and dance from the museums' permanent collection by artists as far ranging
as Degas, Dürer, Picasso, and the Walt Disney Studio.
Contemporary Fiber and Art to Wear: Recent Acquisitions
The Art of Craft: Contemporary Works from the Saxe Collection
26 June17 October 1999
Over the last two decades, the Bay Area's George and Dorothy Saxe have formed
one of the premier collections of contemporary craft in the United States.
The Saxe Collection contains over 600 works in glass, ceramic, wood, fiber,
and metal, and is distinguished by both its high quality and its depth, with
many major artists represented by works from different periods in their careers.
Prominent Bay Area and West Coast artists represented include Robert Arneson
and Peter Voulkos (ceramics), Lia Cook (fiber), Kay Sekimachi (paper), Dale
Chihuly and William Morris (glass), Sam Maloof (furniture), and Bob Stocksdale
(turned wood). Also included in the collection are works by artists better
known for their work in other media, including Larry Bell, Linda Benglis,
Nicolas Africano, Kiki Smith, and Christopher Wilmarth.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco celebrates the promised bequest of
the Dorothy and George Saxe Collection with a major temporary exhibition
of its works. The Art of Craft features 223 works by 132 different
artists, and demonstrates the de Young's new prominence in the exciting and
innovative field of studio craft. A 250-page catalogue, including a scholarly
essay, full-color plates, and an artists' bibliography accompanies the
Wedding Dresses from the Permanent Collection
7 August 199923 January 2000
Herzog and de Meuron: Model for the New de Young
14 October 19992 January 2000
Narratives of African-American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell
20 November 199912 February 2000
Approximately 100 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper provide a thematic
journey that documents strategies employed by 20th-century African American
artists in creating artistic and racial identities. The works are borrowed
from the collection of David C. Driskell, University of Maryland professor
and a pioneering scholar of African American art history, and represent many
of the key figures in 20th-century African-American art. Incorporating
Driskells personal recollections, anecdotes, and historical records,
this exhibition illuminates the development of 20th-century African American
art and art history and shares the intriguing story of how this impressive
collection of art and artifacts was assembled.
Organized by The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland, The David
C. Driskell Collection is curated by Dr. Juanita Holland and includes
a catalogue with essays by prominent scholars.
Museum Pieces: Bay Area Artists Envision the de Young
20 November 199912 March 2000
Organized by guest curator Glen Helfand, this exhibition explores the changing
role of the museum in society, focusing specifically on the de Young. Museum
Pieces will consist of 18 commissioned works in a variety of media including
painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation, and digital media
and sound, by San Francisco Bay Area artists and collaborative teams, including
David Ireland, Tom Marioni, Deborah Oropallo, and Rigo '99.
Many of the works on display in Museum Pieces will concern the de
Young itself, addressing its origins, history, the challenges posed by its
present-day condition, and its future, while some will address both the de
Young and museums as a whole. The exhibition will take place concurrently
with the display of plans for the New de Young building by architects Herzog
and de Meuron.
Between the Black Desert and the Red: Turkmen Carpets from the Wiedersperg
18 December 199925 June 2000
This important collection of Central Asian carpets and textiles was donated
to the Fine Arts Museums by Wolfgang and Gisela Wiedersperg in 1997. The
Wiedersperg collection consists of 82 carefully chosen Turkmen rugs, bags,
and decorative hangings. Objects in the collection include outstanding examples
by the major Turkmen rug-producing tribes as well as many rare examples,
some of which are considered the finest of their type, and serve to create
a cross-section of the Turkmen weaving tradition.
This exhibition celebrates the Wiederspergs generous donation to the
Fine Arts Museums and will feature more than 20 of the finest objects from
the collection. It is accompanied by a catalogue written by Robert Pinner
and Murray Eiland.
2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story Part II
21 May30 July 2000
Famous for his landmark nylon-shrouded assemblages from the 1950s and 1960s
and as a leading independent post-war era filmmaker, Bruce Conner has explored
painting, drawing, collage, photography, sculpture, and printmaking throughout
his remarkable 40-year career. This exhibition of nearly 150 works
in all media, the first major survey of Conners art, highlights his
lifelong engagement with the physical, metaphorical, and metaphysical properties
of light and dark. Organized around Conners film work, this installation
allows audiences to experience the originality and variety that have made
him a major figure in the contemporary art scene.
2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story Part II is organized by the Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is being jointly curated by Peter Boswell, former
curator at the Walker and currently arts director at the American Academy
in Rome, who has been working with Conner for more than a decade; Walker
film/video curator Bruce Jenkins, a specialist in experimental cinema who
has coordinated the restoration of Conners film work; and Walker associate
visual arts curator Joan Rothfuss, a specialist in mid-century intermedia
work who has worked with Conner at the Walker. Each of the curators will
contribute an essay to the exhibitions catalogue.
The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks
24 September 20007 January 2001
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco host the first major exhibition devoted
to the life and works of Edward Hicks, a 19th-century Quaker minister and
painter, whose interpretations of The Peaceable Kingdom are among
the most beloved paintings in American art. Since their re-discovery in the
1930s, Hickss deceptively simple, seemingly child-like depictions of
the animal world have delighted viewers of all ages. They also won him the
admiration of modern artists early in this century who saw in his almost
surreal compositions executed in his flat, signboard-like style a provocative
parallel to their own vision.
This exhibition focuses new attention on the Quaker beliefs and church politics
that inspired both Hickss subject matter and his self-consciously naive
style. Hicks was both an artist and a prominent member of a society that
shunned art. The paradox of his life brought out his creative genius, a genius
that has been little understood even as we have grown to appreciate Hickss
paintings as some of the most joyous and memorable in American art.
The exhibition has been organized by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art
Center of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which holds the greatest
concentration of Hickss works in any collection. The show includes
more than 50 paintings, ranging from his well-known Peaceable Kingdom
variants to other historical subjects, showing the entire range of Hickss
Tues-Sun 9:30 am to 5 pm
Admission & Directions:
$2.00 Youths 12 - 17
Admission is free on the first Wednesday of the month
Harry S. Parker III, Director
Ms. Vas Prabhu, Director of Education.
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