The New de Young Museum Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Erin Garcia
Assistant Director of Communications
tel: 415.750.8904 cell: 510.364.1304
Maureen Keefe
Director of Marketing and Communications
tel: 415.750.8903 cell: 415.246.3099

As Well as 40th Anniversary of the Union with the Legion of Honor

The New de Young Museum Celebrates 5th Anniversary as well as 40th Anniversary of the Union with the Legion of Honor

San Francisco, CA, October 2010––This year the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco celebrate two important anniversaries: the 5th anniversary of the new de Young Museum and the 40th anniversary of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.  This celebration is bolstered by the remarkable, record-breaking five-year attendance figure at the de Young: 8.1 million visitors, making it one of the highest profile museums in the country and a local phenomenon.

Five years ago in October the de Young Museum reopened in a state-of-the-art building designed by Herzog & de Meuron with Fong & Chan Architects on the site of the original museum, which was founded in 1895.  Director John E. Buchanan, Jr., says of the de Young, “Our proudest moments come from watching how the building is used—both by the staff in creatively installing exhibitions and presenting public programs, and by the public, who have really embraced the designers’ vision of a building well integrated with its natural environment.”  In honor of the 5th anniversary, the public is invited to visit the de Young’s distinguished permanent collection on Saturday, October 16, for $5.  The $5 ticket is also good at the Legion of Honor for the opening day of Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism.  $5 tickets can only be purchased at the de Young.

2010 is the year of another milestone in San Francisco.  Forty years ago the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor united to form a new institution called the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF).  Since 1970 the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park has housed the distinguished collections of antiquities and European art from both museums, as well as the works of art on paper of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, while the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park has showcased American art from the 17th century through the present, international textile arts and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.  

Recently visitors have enjoyed unique joint programming between the de Young and the Legion of Honor with an aim to enhance the visitor experience through complementary exhibitions that extend a theme across FAMSF’s extensive permanent collections.  Joint programming examples are: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the de Young with Very Postmortem: Mummies and Medicine at the Legion of Honor; Birth of Impressionism at the de Young with Impressionist Paris: City of Light at the Legion of Honor; Van Gogh, Gauguin, C
ézanne and Beyond and Pat Steir: After Hokusai, after Hiroshige at the de Young with Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism at the Legion of Honor.

We celebrate the following de Young Museum highlights from the last five years:

  • Attendance from July 1, 2005–Sept 23, 2010: 8.1 million visitors
  • de Young attendance for calendar year 2009: 1.8 million visitors
  • de Young attendance for calendar year 2000 (the museum closed for demolition on December 31, 2000): 449,922 visitors for de Young and Asian Art Museum (museums were combined at that time)
  • de Young’s 2009 ranking in The Art Newspaper’s listing of fine arts museum attendance in North America: 5th (Note: combined attendance of de Young and Legion of Honor as Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco moves national ranking to 4th)
  • de Young’s 2009 ranking in The Art Newspaper’s listing of fine arts museums attendance worldwide: 19th
  • Number of member households for FAMSF as of September 2010: 110,000
  • Number of member households for FAMSF when the museum closed in December 2000: 58,752
  • Number of special exhibitions presented by the de Young since 2005: 16
  • Top five most attended special exhibitions at the de Young since reopening:
    • Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs: 826,531
    • Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Muse d’Orsay: 432,389
    • Chihuly at the de Young: 407,300
    • Yves Saint Laurent: 261,214
    • The Quilts of Gee’s Bend: 238,082
  • Total acquisitions to the de Young’s collections since reopening: 2,338  artworks
  • By collection:
    • American Decorative Arts: 579
    • American Paintings: 86
    • Africa, Oceania and the Americas (AOA): 1,111
    • Textile Arts: 562
  • Number of visits to the FAMSF’s website since reopening: 37,816,004
  • Number of school visits to the de Young since reopening: 9,452 classes (grades K-12) have visited with 283,567 children participating
  • Number of hours contributed by volunteers to FAMSF since reopening: 153,000
  • Average number of hours contributed by each volunteer per year: 52
  • Number of docent tours at the de Young since reopening: 220 docents conducted 9,439 tours of the permanent collection and exhibitions for over 141,000 visitors
  • Number of artists-in-residence participating in de Young’s Artist’s Studio program: 121
  • Number of live music performances at Friday Night at the de Young: 400 performances by 2,500 musicians
  • Number of dance performances at Friday Night at the de Young: 75 performances by 600 dancers
  • Number of films presented at Friday Nights at the de Young: 100
  • Number of lectures presented at Friday Nights at the de Young: 150
  • Number of art-making projects with Art Diva Kim at Friday Nights at the de Young: 235
  • Total square footage of the new de Young: 295,000
  • Total square footage of Herbst Special Exhibition Galleries: 12,000
  • Number of floral arrangements created for the museum by the volunteer flower committee: 5,200
  • Number of weddings at the de Young: 35
  • Number of times fog has been generated by the fog bog: 7,300