Colossal cracked stones, a three-piece ball gown, a spirit figure, a work created from charcoal retrieved from a church destroyed by arson. Our collections—encompassing American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts; modern and contemporary art; art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; and textile arts—reflect an active conversation among cultures, perspectives, and time periods.

American Art

The de Young’s American art collection, spanning from the 17th century to the present day, is the most comprehensive survey collection of American art in the American West, and is among the top 10 collections nationally that encompass the entire history of non-indigenous American art. The... View More

African Art

In the first decades of the 20th century, prestigious European artists like Pablo Picasso, André Derain, and Henri Matisse revolutionized the art world by “discovering” African art, which formed a basis for Cubism and other avant-garde artistic styles. The aesthetics of African art—its bold forms... View More

Oceanic Art

The de Young has exhibited Oceanic art since it opened in 1895. M. H. de Young and museum supporters purchased works from the California International Midwinter Exposition that still form the core of the Oceanic collection. The strength of this charter collection lay in small groups of objects,... View More

Art of the Americas

The Art of the Americas collection provides unique perspectives into cultures and civilizations that thrived in the Western hemisphere long before the Spanish conquest. Most objects in these collections date between 200 BC and the mid-16th century AD, with a strong focus in Mesoamerican and Andean... View More

Costume and Textile Arts

The Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts contains more than 13,000 textiles and costumes from traditions around the world. A remarkable range of techniques is represented, including loom-woven textiles; nonwoven fabrics, such as bark cloth, felt, and knitting; and objects... View More

Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts

The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (AFGA) is the department responsible for the Fine Arts Museums’ collection of works of art on paper: prints, drawings, and artists’ books. Selections from the collection are exhibited in rotating exhibitions in specially designated galleries at the de... View More


The photography collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco spans the entire history of the medium, with particular strength in 19th-century American and European photography. The de Young accepted photographs into its collection during its earliest years, starting with documentary scenes... View More