Collections

Founded in 1895, the de Young’s original collections were born out of exhibitions featured in the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition organized by M.H. de Young. Today, the de Young museum is home to one of the most diverse and significant art collections in the western United States. Currently the de Young’s collection exceeds 27,000 works of art and is renowned for its holdings in American art of all periods, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper; the art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; and costumes and textiles representing a wide variety of Eastern and Western traditions.

Collections News & Noteworthy

Teotihuacan mural
August 1, 2014
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco hold the largest and most important collection of Teotihuacan murals outside of Mexico. They came to the de Young as part of the bequest of the Harald Wagner estate. Wagner, a San Francisco–based architect, was a passionate art collector who had spent several years living in Mexico. In the mid-1960s he purchased a number of mural fragments from the site of...
Bear Effigy
March 31, 2014
The Thomas W. Weisel Family Collection is an extraordinary grouping of native North American art that spans a thousand years of artistic production. At its core are Southwestern ceramics from the 11th to the 20th centuries and masterworks of Navajo weaving from the 19th century. In 2013, the Weisel Family gave the museums 185 objects from these holdings; an additional 21 textiles are on loan to...
Google Art Project Street View
February 19, 2014
Now anyone in the world can virtually visit the de Young and explore six of its American art galleries through the Google Art Project. The de Young joined the Google Art Project in 2012 and over the last year has been one of 15 institutions across the United States to increase access to its collections significantly via this interactive, online tool.There are currently more than 200 works of art...
Bay Bridge
February 18, 2014
Visitors to the de Young this winter can experience rarely seen works from the museum’s permanent collection in three exhibitions and installations.The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, on view through June 8, 2014, celebrates the completion of the new eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge with a newly acquired group of photographs by Peter Stackpole (1913–1997) that...
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American Painting
Tiffany Vase
Stela
textile arts
Works on Paper