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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

de Young Museum
Established March 24, 1895
Location 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, California, USA
Type Art museum
Visitor figures 1.2 million/year
Director John E. Buchanan, Jr.
Public transit access 44 O'Shaughnessy, San Francisco Municipal Railway
Website [1]

The M.H. de Young Museum (commonly called de Young Museum) is a fine arts museum located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. It is named for early San Francisco newspaperman M. H. de Young.



The museum opened in 1895 as an outgrowth of the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 (a fair modeled on the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of the previous year). The building was originally decorated with cast-concrete ornaments on the façade. The ornaments were removed in 1949 as they began to fall and had become a hazard. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake severely damaged the building.

Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and engineers Arup designed the newly rebuilt structure, which reopened on October 15, 2005. The current building is clad with perforated copper plates, which will change colors through exposure to the elements. A 144 ft. (44 m) observation tower allows visitors to see much of Golden Gate Park's Music Concourse (see below) and rises above the Park's treetops providing a view of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands.

As part of the agreement that created the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in 1972, the de Young's collection of European art was sent to the Legion of Honor. In compensation, the de Young received the right to display the bulk of the organization's anthropological holdings. These include significant pre-Hispanic works from Teotihuacan and Peru, as well as indigenous tribal art from sub-Saharan Africa.


View of the California Academy of Sciences under construction from the observation tower of the de Young

The courtyard of the de Young features a sculptural installation by Andy Goldsworthy named Faultline.

The de Young also exhibits American decorative pieces, textiles, and paintings from the Rockefeller Collection of American Art. It is home to the annual floral exhibition Bouquets to Art. Other permanent collections include the African and Oceanic collections which, along with the 'Art of the Americas' collection, were curated by Kathleen Berrin.


The de Young Museum was the last of seven U.S. museums to host The Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit in the late 1970s. From June 27th 2009 through March 28th 2010, is hosting the current Tut exhibitions, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs".


Hamon Tower

The new M.H. de Young Museum building was completed in October 2005. The original de Young had been severely damaged in 1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake. The terrain and seismic activity posed a problem for the designers Herzog & de Meuron and principal architects Fong & Chan. To help withstand future earthquakes, “[the building] can move up to three feet (91 centimeters) due to a system of ball-bearing sliding plates and viscous fluid dampers that absorb kinetic energy and convert it to heat”.[1]

Location in the middle of an urban park has also been controversial, and San Francisco voters twice defeated bond measures that were to fund the project. After the second defeat, the museum itself planned to relocate to a location in the financial district. However, an effort by supporters arose to keep the museum in the Park.

In reaction, the designers were sensitive to the appearance of the building in its natural setting. The entire exterior is clad in 163,118 sq ft (15,154.2 m2) of copper, which is expected to eventually oxidize and take on a greenish tone and a distinct texture to echo the nearby eucalyptus trees. In order to further harmonize with the surroundings, shapes were cut into the top to reveal gardens and courtyards where 48 trees had been planted. 5.12 acres (20,700 square meters) of new landscaping were planted as well, with 344 transplanted trees and 69 historic boulders.

The twisting 144 foot (44 m) tall tower is a distinctive feature, and can be seen sticking up through the canopy of Golden Gate Park from many areas of San Francisco.

See also


  1. ^ Ashmore


External links

Coordinates: 37°46′17″N 122°28′07″W / 37.771389°N 122.468611°W / 37.771389; -122.468611



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