A Message from the President

Diane B. WilseyAs an extensive national search to find a new director draws to a close, we look forward to making a public announcement soon. As we prepare to embark on the next chapter of our long history it’s a good time to reflect on the amazing success we’ve experienced over the past several years.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF)—which comprises the de Young and the Legion of Honor—is one of the most successful organizations of its kind in the world. We operate under the highest standards of governance. It is because of our high standards that we are a flourishing art institution that continues to exceed expectations both financially and artistically.

Our organization is among the largest and most respected art institutions in the country. Due to the efforts of our talented staff and dedicated Board of Trustees, we have been able to bring to San Francisco some extraordinary exhibitions such as:

  • Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
  • Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay
  • Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay
  • Girl with the Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis
  • And, coming in 2013, David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition

We’ve worked very hard over the years to build strong relations with the best museums around the world which results in having some of the finest art collections on exhibition anywhere. For example, we recently signed an exclusive accord with the Louvre, and a pact with the Musei Capitolini in Rome that brought Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s The Medusa to the Legion of Honor.

We are honored to be part of the fabric of this community. In 2012, 1.6 million residents and tourists visited our museums. FAMSF's education programs serve over 260,000 children and families annually. According to The Art Newspaper, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco ranks third among U.S. art museums for total number of members and fourth for total number of visitors. We are very proud of the world-class exhibitions we’ve brought to San Francisco which only enhances our own permanent collections along with our outstanding public education programming and outreach.

We look forward to offering our community a range of exhibitions of the highest quality while providing extensive and innovative art education programs for people of all ages and interests for many decades to come. In the near future we will introduce you to our new director who will share with you many new and exciting ideas to make our museums even better. This is not a one-way street: we would like to hear from you. We will continue to work to keep the de Young and the Legion of Honor a frequent destination for you and your friends and families.

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