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The de Young Museum

The Copper and Glass Queen of Golden Gate Park

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The de Young Museum
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Built to blend seamlessly into the surrounding verdant natural environment, the de Young Museum is an architectural treasure that also happens to house one of the city's finest collections of art. Completed in 2005 by the Swiss architectural firm of Herzog & de Meuron, the cutting edge building also sports a futuresque tower, complete with observation room and panoramic views over Golden Gate Park. The museum's massive interior is filled with the art of Africa, the Pacific and the Americas, including one of the nation's largest collections of American Art.

Visiting the de Young Museum

The de Young Museum is located across the Music Concourse from the California Academy of Science and next to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. It is just inside the park's entrance at 8th Avenue and Fulton Street in the Richmond District. You can also walk there from the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood simply by following John F. Kennedy Drive through the park past the Conservatory of Flowers.

To get there by public transit take the 5 Fulton Muni bus and get off at 8th Avenue, and then simply walk right in. You can also take the N Judah Muni Metro train, get off at 9th and Irving Street in the Sunset and then walk across the park past the Botanical Gardens.

  • Address: 50 Hagawara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 am to 5:15pm, Friday Nights 5pm to 8:45pm (March through November)
  • Admission: Adults $10, Seniors $7, Students and Youth aged 13-17 $6, Kids Free.
  • Contact: (415)750-3600 www.deyoung.famsf.org
Tickets to the de Young are also good for same day admission to the Palace of the Legion of Honor, another high-caliber art museum located nearby in Lincoln Park.

Admission to the de Young is also included in the San Francisco CityPass, which bundles a seven day transportation pass with the entry to a handfull of the city's top museums and attractions into one low price.

The Hamon Education Tower Observation Deck

This 144-foot-high tower, which is shaped like an inverted triangle, is free to visit and is the best place in Golden Gate Park to look out over tree tops of the city's favorite urban green space.

The Collections and Exhibits of the de Young Museum

The de Young Museum houses extensive permanent collections as well as large exhibition spaces devoted to temporary exhibits which range from high fashion to ancient artifacts and everything in between.
  • American Painting: The museum's crown jewel, this is one of the largest collections of American paintings in the world. Arranged in a chronological fashion, the collection spans the 17th through the 21st century and contains representatives of most of the country's most important art movements, from realism to surrealism.

  • African Art: Many people don't know that many contemporary art movements, like Cubism, were actually based on traditional African art forms newly discovered by Europeans. The de Young's extensive collection of African art, which is primarily sculptural, represents the full spectrum of creativity found on the African continent.

  • Art of the Americas: Mesoamerican, Andean and North American native art are the focus of this impressive collection, which includes murals from the ancient city of Teotihuacan as well as a selection of Eskimo and Inuit artifacts.

  • Oceanic Art: From Maori woodcarvings to elaborate Polynesian masks, the de Young's Oceanic art collection is diverse and far-reaching. Make sure to check out the special exhibit of paintings by Australian Aborigines from the beginning of the Aboriginal art movement.

  • Textile Arts: Contianing works from 125 different countires and spanning almost three millenium of history, the de Young's collection of textile and clothing is feast for the senses. Of special note are the collection of North Indian silks and the Turkmen carpets.

Other special permanent collections include 19th and 20th century European photographs, a special exhibit of works on paper and a vast holding of American decorative art, including an outdoor sculpture garden featuring the work of Joan Miro and Isamu Noguchi, among others.

The de Young Museum Cafe

The cafe, which looks out onto the sculpture garden, serves espresso drinks and pastries in the morning, a full menu of European and American entrees for lunch and a special Weinpause, a selection of snacks served with wine, in the afternoons.
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9:30am to 4:30pm.
  • Contact: (415)750-2613

The de Young Museum Store

This two level gift shop offers visitors a wide selection of books, home furnishings and fine art prints.
  • Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9:30am to 5pm
  • Contact: (415)750-3642

Friday Nights at the de Young

From March to November, the de Young hosts special Friday night mixers, where guests are treated to special presentations, screening and discussions over cocktails. The cafe also serves a special menu and the observation tower is open to the public. For current Friday night events at the de Young check the online schedule.
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