From July 13–August 19, de Young galleries 1–4 will be closed to the public in preparation for future installations.
The collections at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have rich and multivalent stories to tell. This Multimedia page provides access to the wide variety of media, symposia, new technologies and interactives that augment the Museums' permanent collections. Please click on the links below to explore further.
Conservation, which encompasses the treatment, preservation, and technical study of works of art, is integral to the mission of the Fine Arts Museums. With specialized training in chemistry, art history, and studio art, conservators work closely with the Museums’ curators to better understand the objects in their collections and to advise on the condition of proposed acquisitions and loans. Their discoveries are shared with the public through exhibitions, educational programs, and web-based media.
Located at the de Young, the Penny and James Coulter Objects Conservation Center provides for the preservation, conservation and scientific study of all three-dimensional works of art in the FAMSF collections, which total more than three-quarters of the collections out on permanent display. Working... View More
Located at the de Young, the Sardegna Paintings Conservation Center is devoted to the preservation, study and treatment of the nearly two thousand paintings in the European and American Art Departments and their frames. From the reduction of a yellowed varnish from a 17th-century Italian painting... View More
Located at the Legion of Honor, the paper conservation laboratory handles the preservation and conservation needs of close to 100,000 prints, drawings, photographs and books in the Museums’ collection. Caring for such varied works of art presents unique challenges and requires varied treatments.... View More
Located at the de Young, the George and Marie Hecksher Textile Conservation Center provides for the preservation, conservation and scientific study of the Museums’ permanent textile collection, which currently numbers more than 13,000 pieces. The center itself has been specifically designed to... View More
Photo by Genthe
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.
The de Young provides a rich variety of important research and study resources. The museum's libraries, study centers and online archives are available to students, scholars, artists and other museum professionals by appointment.
Contact InformationLauren PalmorCuratorial Assistant, American Artlpalmor@famsf.orgHoursBy appointment only.A copy of the unrestricted microfilm collection of the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art is located in the Katharine Hanrahan American Art Study Center at the de Young. It is... View More
Contact InformationLaura L. CamerlengoAssistant Curator of Costume and Textile Artslcamerlengo@famsf.orgHoursBy appointment only.The Joan Diehl McCauley Textile Study Center is located at the de Young on the second floor, adjacent to the Textile Gallery, and is available to researchers with a... View More
Contact InformationLauren PalmorCuratorial Assistant, American Artlpalmor@famsf.orgHoursBy appointment only.The Katharine Hanrahan American Art Study Center is located at the de Young. It is available to researchers with a specific focus of study by appointment only.Resources of the Katharine... View More
Contact InformationSusan GrinolsDirector, Photo Services and Imagingsgrinols@famsf.orgThe Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) provide images for a variety of purposes. We have over 80,000 images of prints, drawings, paintings, textiles and 3-dimensional artwork from our permanent collections... View More
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669). The Shell (Conus Marmoreus) (detail), 1650. Etching, drypoint and engraving. Museum purchase, gift of Dr. T. Edward and Tullah Hanley by exchange, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts Endowment Fund and Anonymous Bequest. 1997.42
The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) is the department responsible for the Museums’ collection of works of art on paper: prints, drawings and artist books. Selections from the collection are exhibited in rotating exhibitions in specially designated galleries at the de Young and the Legion of Honor, while the remainder of the collection is stored in the department’s state-of-the-art facilities located at the Legion of Honor, along with the Museums’ collection of Photography.
In 1996, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco received a gift of more than 650 American prints from the collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson and their daughter Mary Patricia Anderson Pence. Today, the Anderson Graphic Arts Collection spans over fifty years of print production, from... View More
The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) is the department responsible for the Fine Arts Museums’ collection of works of art on paper: prints, drawings, and artists’ books. Selections from the collection are exhibited in rotating exhibitions in specially designated galleries at the de Young and the Legion of Honor, while the remainder of the collection is stored in the department’s state-of-the-art facilities at the Legion of Honor, along with the Museums’ collection of photography.
Acquired in 1991, the Crown Point Press Archive located at the Legion of Honor contains one impression (usually Artist’s Proof 6) from every print edition published by Crown Point Press as well as many proofs from editions printed, but not published, by the Press since its inception in 1962 to the... View More
K. Lee Manuel, Tunic blouses 1964–1965
The Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts contains more than 13,000 textiles and costumes from traditions around the world. A remarkable range of techniques is represented, including loom-woven textiles; nonwoven fabrics, such as bark cloth, felt, and knitting; and objects embellished with beading and embroidery.
The Art of the Americas collection provides unique perspectives into cultures and civilizations that thrived in the Western hemisphere long before the Spanish conquest. Most objects in these collections date between 200 BC and the mid-16th century AD, with a strong focus in Mesoamerican and Andean art. Almost all of these ancient arts were used in religious or funerary contexts. As a result of the historic Harald Wagner bequest, the de Young is home to the largest and most important group of Teotihuacan murals outside of Mexico.
Yua, Spirit of the Arctic: Eskimo and Inuit Art from the Collection of Thomas G. Fowler is a permanent installation in the Art of the Americas gallery that presents a selection of objects from the Arctic Circle. The collection was donated to the Museums by the late Thomas G. Fowler (1943–2006). Mr... View More
Lewis K. Land (1904–1987) was a remarkable collector and businessman. From his early career in India and throughout a lifetime of wide-ranging interests, collecting became, for Land, a means of solidifying his varied intellectual pursuits. Geology and mineralogy were his first passions, but as... View More
The Harald Wagner collection of Teotihuacan murals is the largest and most important outside of Mexico. The murals are remarkable for their quality, condition and iconographic breadth. Secretly removed from their site in the 1960s, they were left to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in a... View More
The Paul E. and Barbara H. Weiss Collection of Pueblo Pottery represents a significant gift of Native American art to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Over the last ten years, Paul and Barbara Weiss have traveled throughout the southwestern United States, carefully selecting outstanding... View More
The Thomas W. Weisel Family Collection is an extraordinary anthology of Native American art assembled over three decades by Thom Weisel, a pioneer in the development of the tech industry in Silicon Valley and a noted collector of and advocate for Native American art. The collection includes... View More
Gallery Installation, de Young Museum
The de Young has exhibited Oceanic art since its opening in 1895. M. H. de Young and museum supporters purchased works from the California International Midwinter Exposition that still form the core of the Oceanic collection. The strength of this charter collection lay in small groups of objects, including important New Zealand Maori woodcarvings from meetinghouses of that period, as well as in singular works of importance, such as a rare Micronesian figurative weather charm.
The inaugural exhibition of the Jolika Collection that accompanied the opening of the new de Young in 2005 dramatically transformed the international profile of New Guinea art at the Museums, as well as its entire collection of Oceanic art. More than three hundred masterworks of New Guinea art are... View More