American Sculpture & Decorative Arts

The de Young’s holdings of American art include more than 800 sculptures and 3,000 decorative arts objects spanning from the 17th century to the present. The American sculpture and decorative arts collections formed an integral part of the de Young from its founding in 1895. In the ensuing decades, the focus expanded from historical objects associated with California’s Gold Rush and Mission eras to decorative art objects drawn from across the nation. Collection strengths include Spanish Colonial, California Arts and Crafts, and post-World War II studio craft objects. Of special note are 15 Ruth Asawa sculptures donated by the artist and installed in the lobby of the de Young tower.

The American sculpture collection includes works by Hiram Powers, Frederic Remington, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, David Smith, Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson, Mark di Suvero, Manuel Neri, Stephen De Staebler, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenberg, Peter Voulkos, Josiah McElheny, Kiki Smith, and James Turrell. The American decorative arts collection includes objects by Jeremiah Dummer, Paul Revere, James Gillingham, Samuel Gragg, Herter Brothers, Frederic Remington, Shreve & Company, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Dirk van Erp, Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene & Greene, Boris Lovet-Lorski, and Viktor Schreckengost.

Special Collections

The Dorothy & George Saxe Collection of Contemporary Craft

Since 1981, George and Dorothy Saxe of Menlo Park and San Francisco have formed one of the premier collections of contemporary craft in the United States. The Saxe Collection, containing works in glass, ceramic, wood, fiber, and metal, is distinguished by both its high quality and its depth, with... View More


Ruth Asawa (1926–2013)

SAN FRANCISCO (August 7, 2013) —The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are saddened by the loss of...