American Art

Installation view of de Young Gallery 23

The de Young’s American art collection, spanning from the 17th century to the present day, is the most comprehensive survey collection of American art in the American West, and is among the top 10 collections nationally that encompass the entire history of non-indigenous American art. The acquisition of the distinguished Rockefeller Collection, along with later gifts and purchases, transformed the American art collection into a true national treasure, as well as a significant cultural and educational resource for both residents and tourists.

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A Few of Our Favorite Things

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Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown

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Free after museum admission. Reservations are not accepted. Tours meet at entrance to exhibition. For private tours please e-mail groupsales@famsf.org or call 415-750-2636.

Exhibiting Excellence: Recent Acquisitions, 2006–2009

October 17, 2009January 18, 2010

The past few years have marked a high point in the Fine Arts Museums’ acquisitions program, with many outstanding works of art joining the permanent collection. To showcase the highlights of our recent acquisitions, a small exhibition has been organized in the Barbara Carleton Gallery at the de Young. Here, you will see some of the finest acquisitions from all art departments of the Museums: American painting and sculpture, European painting and decorative arts, works on paper, textiles, ancient art, and art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

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Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown

November 14, 2009June 7, 2010

This exhibition features approximately 48 full-size and crib quilts dating from the 1880s to the 1940s. Quilts made by girls and women of various Amish communities in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are visual distillations of their way of life. The Amish faith embodies the principles of simplicity, humility, discipline, and community, but their quilts are anything but humble. Using a rich color palette and bold patterns, these quilts are truly a unique contribution to American textile history. The quilts highlight the beauty and complexity of the abstract patterns.

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Sponsors

Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. The exhibition is supported by The Brown Foundation, Inc., Joyce and Merton Goode, and the San Francisco Quilters Guild.

Generous support is also provided by the Alfred H. Peet Living Trust, the William E. Winn, Jr., Living Trust, the Estate of Theodore Neff, the Estate of Helen M. Pollack, and the Estate of E. Jean Ferdinandsen.

Amish quilts
Left: Lone Star, (detail) ca. 1930. Lapp family, Smoketown, Pennsylvania. Cotton, wool, and synthetic fiber. Right: Double Nine Patch,ca. 1930. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Wool

Docent Tour: Art and Power in the Central African Savanna

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The Fine Arts Museums docents offer private group tours upon request in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian and Cantonese, as well as English. Tours are free after museum admission. No reservations required.

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