The de Young Museum San Francisco was founded in 1895, which makes it the oldest museum in the city. In 2005, this excellent art museum reopened after undergoing renovations, and it is better than ever. The striking copper facade at the de Young San Francisco hints at the museum's overall quality, and once visitors step inside, it's not hard to linger longer than expected. This renowned art museum in San Francisco houses one of the country's best collections of American paintings, and it is also known for its other art exhibits, which include pieces from Oceania, Africa, and the Americas. There is a lot to take in on a trip to the de Young Museum, and one never knows what they might come across when it comes to the temporary exhibits. These exhibits have been known to include anything from King Tut-related relics to famous European paintings.
The de Young Museum San Francisco can be found within the boundaries of Golden Gate Park, which some locals have failed to find favor with. For some time, the museum had plans to move to a location in the financial district. This never happened, however, as a number of supporters wanted the museum to stay where it was. While the quality of the de Young Museum's location might be up for debate, the same can not be said about its impressive exhibits. The American Painting exhibit, which features 1,100 works, is just one of the permanent exhibits that has helped the museum earn such a fine reputation.
The pieces that are on display at the de Young Museum's American Painting exhibit range from colonial era works to modern day examples. Among the most renowned works from this collection are the Boatmen on the Missouri and Ocean Park #116. The former was painted by George Caleb Bingham and dates back to 1846. Like other genre paintings of the time, it manages to make an otherwise mundane moment from everyday life seem extremely captivating. As for Ocean Park #116, it is a unique modern piece from Richard Diebenkorn that was ahead of its time when it was completed in 1979.
In addition to an impressive American Painting exhibit, the de Young Museum San Francisco also features a renowned collection of American sculptures and decorative arts. Among the highlights in this exhibit are the beautiful, eighteenth-century pieces of furniture. The early twentieth century Louis Comfort Tiffany Vase is also of special interest, as are a number of other pieces. Not all of the renowned pieces at the de Young Art Museum in San Francisco hail from the United States, however. The Art of the Americas exhibit features more than 2,000 pieces, many of which are ancient relics from such countries as Peru and Mexico. Interesting pieces from Canada are also featured.
Visitors can easily spend a few hours taking in all the pieces that are on display at the de Young San Francisco, and when they aren't checking out the exhibits, they can pick up some healthy fare at the onsite restaurant. A picnic in the sculpture garden is worth considering when the weather is nice. Picnic or not, the sculpture garden is a rewarding place to hang out. Before or after visitors take to the open grassy areas on a visit to the de Young San Francisco museum, they might make a stop at the gift shop, which offers a wide array of interesting keepsakes. Heading up to the top of the museum's 144-foot-tall tower is also an option. The views of the Bay Area are quite spectacular. One can view any number of landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the TransAmerica Building.
The de Young Museum San Francisco is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and from mid-January to November, it stays open until 8:45 p.m. on Fridays. Often, some of the temporary exhibits stay open a little longer than the permanent ones, so visitors might start their tours off in the permanent exhibit areas. There are different kinds of tours available at the de Young Art Museum in San Francisco, and they include audio tours and private and public docent-led tours.
It is important to note that admission to the de Young Museum includes admission to the Legion of Honor, which is a World War I memorial that mirrors the Legion of Honor Palace in Paris, France. It is also worth noting that discounted admission to both of these attractions can be enjoyed by CityPass holders. This special San Francisco tourist card also awards holders with discounts on Aquarium of the Bay tickets and San Francisco Bay cruises and other local attractions.