Over Labor Day weekend, OHNY intern Kathleen went to the de Young Museum in San Francisco.  The de Young Museum was founded in 1895 and was San Francisco’s largest art museum at the time.  In the mid-20th century, it’s structure began to deteriorate, further exacerbated by a 1989 earthquake. Realizing the potential hazards a second earthquake would pose on the unstable structure, the museum’s permanent collection, which includes expansive African, Oceania, and American sculpture, painting and textiles, was temporarily relocated to various institutions around the world.

de Young Museum

The reconstruction of the public museum was generously funded by private donors and designed, with earthquake resistance in mind, by Herzog & de Meuron and Architects Fong & Chan. After a few setbacks ranging from zoning issues to finance, the museum finally re-opened it’s doors in 2005.


The building is enveloped in “dimpled and perforated, naturally oxidized copper panels, whose abstract pattern was distilled from manipulated photographs of the park’s tree canopy.”(the de Young in the 21st Century) It is surrounded by several sculpture gardens inviting visitors to appreciate the exterior of the museum and temporary landscape installations. More information on the de Young and photographs here.

Sculpture Garden

The museum is currently hosting a post-Impressionist exhibit titled’ ‘Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond’, featuring works from the Musee d’Orsay .

Fun cut-outs outside the entrance to the de Young Museum

Outside the museum, local artists display their work alongside the sculpture gardens.  The museum’s immense popularity is a response to it’s new structure, an inspirational architectural statement, as well as its ever-expanding impressive permanent collection.

Nestled in Golden Gate Park, the same site as the previous building, the museum's bronze exterior is a warm compliment to the natural environment.

Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

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