De Young Museum - An integral part of the cultural fabric of the city
Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.
On October 15, 2005, the de Young Museum re-opened in a state-of-the-art new facility that integrates art, architecture and the natural landscape in one multi-faceted destination that will inspire audiences from around the world. Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco, the new de Young provided San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, Textile arts, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
The de Young’s American art collection, spanning from the 17th century to the present day, is the most comprehensive survey collection of American art in the American West, and is among the top 10 collections nationally that encompass the entire history of non-indigenous American art. The acquisition of the distinguished Rockefeller Collection, along with later gifts and purchases, transformed the American art collection into a true national treasure, as well as a significant cultural and educational resource for both residents and tourists.
The Arts of the Americas collection is comprised of a wide array of works made by indigenous artists from across the Western hemisphere. Ceramics, sculptures, and architectural remains provide a glimpse into the artistic and cultural practices of ancient peoples from Mesoamerica and the Andes. Highlights of the collection include a group of brilliantly colored mural fragments from a residential complex within the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico; containers and carvings commissioned for royal Maya feasts and ceremonies; elaborate ceramic vessels from West Mexico; and ancestral Pueblo pottery from the American Southwest.
The photography collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco spans the entire history of the medium, with particular strength in 19th-century American and European photography. The de Young accepted photographs into its collection during its earliest years, starting with documentary scenes of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. The collection also includes large concentrations of historical California photographs, with many views of the Bay Area, as well as a significant holding of daguerreotype portraits.
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