The museum showcases collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, international textile arts and costumes, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the ancient Americas.
From its origins as the Fine Arts Building constructed for the California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894, the de Young has grown into the foremost museum in the western United States.
Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the museum evolved into the current contemporary building. Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the new de Young blends with and complements its natural surroundings. The building features a 144-foot tower that gently spirals from the ground floor to a public observation floor offering panoramic views of the entire Bay Area. Original elements include the sphinx sculptures and the Pool of Enchantment.
Whether you go or not, The de Young in the 21st Century: A Museum by Herzog & de Meuron, tells how -- after the de Young was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake -- the museum's fate and the decision to replace the old building with a new museum on the same site — became the focus of intense public debate. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs as well as plans, drawings, and models, the book traces the architects' creative process in striking detail. The new de Young in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is a stunning architectural tour de force, and is significant as the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron's first major building in North America. 250 illustrations, 200 in color.
Imagining new ways of seeing and experiencing a museum
5 visual "chapters" revolve around disruption within nature, history and myth, culture and technology
Paintings, drawings, prints, and three-dimensional works spanning forty years
150+ works by more than 60 Black artists of the 1960s - ‘80s
Mixed-media works in color-families indicate the artist's personal cosmology