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.
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
Founding pieces in the collection were purchased from the California International Midwinter Exposition in 1894. From that moment, the de Young’s collections of African art, like those of most major American museums, grew in a random fashion rather than by design—enriched in part by purchases, but... View More
The de Young has exhibited Oceanic art since its opening 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
The Arts of the Americas collection is comprised of a wide array of works made by indigenous artists from across the Western hemisphere. Ceramics, sculptures, and architectural remains provide a glimpse into the artistic and cultural practices of ancient peoples from Mesoamerica and the Andes.... View More
The Caroline and H. McCoy Jones Department of Textile Arts contains more than 14,000 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
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 Young... 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