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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 century.

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 24-hour information Hot Line, (415) 863-3330 and its web site at

Masterworks of Theater and Dance from the Permanent Collection: A Tribute to Nancy Van Norman Baer

Contemporary Fiber and Art to Wear: Recent Acquisitions

The Art of Craft: Contemporary Works from the Saxe Collection

Wedding Dresses from the Permanent Collection

Herzog and de Meuron: Model for the New de Young

Narratives of African-American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection

Museum Pieces: Bay Area Artists Envision the de Young

Between the Black Desert and the Red: Turkmen Carpets from the Wiedersperg Collection

2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story Part II

The Kingdoms of Edward Hicks


Tues-Sun 9:30 am to 5 pm

Admission & Directions:

Key Personnel:

Harry S. Parker III, Director

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