About the de Young Museum
Founded in 1895 in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young museum has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and a cherished destination for millions of residents and visitors to the region for over 100 years.
After five years of closure, on October 15, 2005, the de Young inaugurated its new building--a state of the art facility that integrates art, architecture, and the natural landscape in one multi-faceted destination that inspires from around the world. Designed by the renowned Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and Fong & Chan Architects in San Francisco, the new de Young provided San Francisco with a landmark art museum to showcase the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, Textile arts, and art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
To connect our visitors with local and global art in order to promote their knowledge of and curiosity about the past, deepen their engagement with the art and ideas of today, and stimulate their creative agency in their own futures.
To redefine the Fine Arts Museums as a forum that stimulates community and visitor conversations and explorations by applying inclusive and equitable perspectives to our collections and the histories they embody, and to support our staff to realize their potential in an inclusive and equitable workplace.
The de Young museum originated as the Fine Arts Building, which was constructed in Golden Gate Park for the California Midwinter International Exposition in 1894. The chair of the exposition organizing committee was Michael H. de Young, co-founder of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the new de Young blends with and complements its natural surroundings. Ribbons of windows erase the boundary between the museum interior and the lush natural environment outside, and four public entrances segue naturally from the park’s pathways, welcoming visitors from all directions.
For the opening of the new de Young in 2005, the Museums commissioned several leading contemporary artists to create site-specific works for the new building.
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco respectfully acknowledge the Ramaytush Ohlone, the original inhabitants of what is now the San Francisco Peninsula, and we further acknowledge that the greater Bay Area is the ancestral territory of the Miwok, Yokuts, and Patwin, as well as other Ohlone peoples.