A visit to San Francisco’s de Young Museum is the destination for a cultural adventure. Whether this is your first or fiftieth visit, you are certain to experience something new. The de Young is one of the premier Fine Arts Museums in the nation. The most sought-after touring exhibits almost always make a showing here. Its location in the heart of Golden Gate Park, across the dramatic Music Concourse from the California Academy of Sciences, transports you to a grand era. Designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, the museum has experienced its share of controversy over its design.
The building’s copper facade was designed to allow light to penetrate and was inspired by light filtered through a tree canopy. In time the copper will develop a rich patina blending into the natural environment. The 144-foot tower rises above the galleries, offering views of the park and surrounding neighborhoods.
Plan to spend a few hours so that you can truly enjoy not only the museum and exhibits but the grounds and architecture. The outdoor sculputure garden, located on the west side of the museum, is worth exploring, with whimsical art on display. The east side of the museum features Sphinx, Pool of Enchantment, and Palm Trees which were part of the original museum located here. The de Young Cafe makes a great stop for a snack or lunch, before, during or after your visit.
The headliner exhibit Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post Impressionist Masterpieces on loan from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection is available for viewing from now through January 18, 2011. The de Young Museum is the only museum in North America to host this exhibit. To Dye For: A World Saturated in Color features over 50 textiles from Africa, Asia and the Americas through January 9, 2011. For information on additional exhibits, click here.
Don’t miss the museum’s permanent collections. The Oceanic Collection includes an extensive collection of more than four hundred masterworks of New Guinea art. The Americas Collection has the largest and most important group of Teotihuacan murals anywhere in the world outside of Mexico.
Spend Friday Nights at the de Young where you can enjoy the museum’s night vibe. Bring a date and enjoy music, dancing, cocktails and enterainment beginning January 14, 2011. The Cafe serves a special Friday Nights dinner menu and no-host cocktails are available.
Consider becoming a member of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and receive invitations to member’s only events and special showings for new exhibits. You will have access to both the de Young and Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums.
Details: The de Young is located at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Click here for hours and admission.
Getting There: Golden Gate Park Shuttle runs every 15 minutes and makes stops at 15 locations within Golden Gate Park. Within San Francisco the museum can be reached via public transportation. And if you must drive, there is a parking garage.
© Karla Erovick 2011 article
© photos AG Workman 2011
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