Blog

Several months ago, Linda Butler (Director of Marketing, Communications, and Visitor Experience at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) and Jennifer Sonderby (Sonderby Design) were entrusted by former Director and CEO of the Museums Max Hollein with the responsibility of refreshing the institution’s brand identity. Having recently worked together on a rebranding assignment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, they understood both the importance of this task and its potential. To work successfully, the approach required close collaboration with internal teams.

The first commissioned artist project for the de Young’s iconic Hamon Tower Observatory, The Companions: Sounds for a Lost Screenplay, is a cinematic audio environment created by artist Anthony Discenza in collaboration with Sound Designers Gary Rydstrom and Josh Gold of Skywalker Sound.

The history of American cinema is filled with the stories of countless might-have-beens; screenplays that seemed destined for the screen, but which somehow got lost along the way. Of all the projects that have fallen through the cracks of the motion picture industry, few have a stranger or more troubled history than The Companions. Written in 1982 by an art student and aspiring writer named Carol Montana, the screenplay was fated to become another enduring mystery in the annals of film.

Nature surrounds and permeates the de Young, from the lush greenery brushing its surfaces to its actual architectural design. Constructed to aesthetically complement the landscape of Golden Gate Park, the annular patterning of the building’s copper façade was designed based on pixelated images of the park tree canopy. The façade itself will oxidize over the course of its lifetime, its rust color organically transforming to shades of weathered green. The building’s copious windows offer visitors a continual awareness of the park and the natural landscape outside.

Acquiring art not only to fill gaps in our collection, but also allows us to display key works that enhance the experience of our special exhibitions. In rare circumstances, an acquisition completely transforms the institution and allows it to present aspects of art history that were not previously possible through the holdings alone.

Fans have served as accessories of fashion and objects of utility since antiquity, but reached their peak production and use in Europe in the eighteenth century. Made from and embellished by an abundance of precious materials, such as ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, enamel, and silver and gold leaf, these multifaceted objects were the result of a meticulous and laborious fabrication process.